Migratory Bird Program
Conserving the Nature of America

Eagle Management

Of all America’s wildlife, eagles hold perhaps the most revered place in our national history and culture. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service remains committed to the conservation of both the Golden Eagle and Bald Eagle populations.  The Bald Eagle was once in danger of extinction in the lower 48 states, with fewer than 500 pairs remaining. Bald Eagles were removed from the endangered species list in June 2007 because their populations have recovered sufficiently.

Golden Eagle in FlightThe Bald Eagle is no longer on the Endangered Species List, but it is protected by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (Eagle Act) and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA.) When the Bald Eagle was delisted, the Service proposed regulations to create a permit program to authorize limited take of Bald Eagles and Golden Eagles where take is associated with otherwise lawful activities. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published (in the Federal Register on September 11, 2009) a final rule on two new permit regulations that allow for the take of eagles and eagle nests under the Eagle Act.

The Eagle Act allows for Native American Tribes to take very limited numbers of eagles for their religious ceremonies, and for the take of eagles where they are a threat to human health and safety. The Eagle Act also allows for some other types of incidental take of eagles. Eagle Take.

Population information for both eagle species will guide the Service in determining how many permits may be issued in any locality, including other types of permits the Service already issues. Permits are only granted if the permittee can demonstrate they are doing everything they can to avoid and minimize risk to eagles and will compensate in some way for the unavoidable deaths such that eagle population do not not suffer.



Eagle Management Information:

To minimize conflicts between wind development and eagle use areas, the Service is working with federal agencies, private land owners, and developers in crafting eagle conservation strategies and advanced conservation practices for projects in suitable locations. The Service uses several conservation tools to help with the conservation of eagles related to development and energy issues.  These tools include: The Land Based Wind Energy Guidelines and the Eagle Conservation Plan Guidance.

  • Eagle Conservation Plan Guidance:

The United States has long imposed special protections for its Bald and Golden eagle populations. Now, as the nation seeks to increase its production of domestic energy, wind energy developers and wildlife agencies have recognized a need for specific guidance to help make wind energy facilities compatible with eagle conservation and the laws and regulations that protect eagles.

To meet this need, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has developed the Eagle Conservation Plan Guidance (ECPG). This document provides specific in-depth guidance for conserving Bald and Golden eagles in the course of siting, constructing, and operating wind energy facilities.

Eagle Conservation Plan Guidance Module 1 – Land-based Wind Energy Version 2

Eagle Permit Rule Information:

50 CFR Parts 13 and 22

Eagle Permits; Take Necessary To Protect Interests in Particular Localities; Final Rules           

Eagle Permit Rule Question and Answers

Final Eagle Permit Rule Defining Disturb

Recent Actions:

Regulations Finalized for Revised Interior Eagle Permit Rule
The Department of the Interior announced changes to regulations enabling the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to better monitor and address the long-term impacts of renewable energy projects and other activities on federally protected eagles. In addition to these immediate changes, the Service will continue its comprehensive review of all eagle permitting regulations to determine if other modifications are necessary to increase their efficiency and effectiveness.

Eagle Permits; Changes in the Regulations Governing Eagle Permitting

Eagle Permits; Changes in the Regulations Governing Eagle Permitting Q & A’s

Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) Seeking Public Input On the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act Permit Program

In September 2009, the Service published a final rule establishing new permit regulations under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (Eagle Act) for nonpurposeful take of eagles (74 FR 46836). These regulations relate to permits to take eagles where the take is associated with, but not the purpose of, otherwise lawful activities. The regulations provide for both standard permits and programmatic permits.

Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Q and As

Advanced Notice of Proposed Rule

Permit Information:

Population Information

Past ActionBald Eagle with fledglings Related to the 2009 Eagle Rule Permit Regulations


CONTACTSWashington Office and Regional

VIDEO B-ROLL Information on obtaining video

IMAGESBald Eagle Slideshow



Last updated: February 14, 2014