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The bald eagle is back from the brink

Words by Tess Becker

There’s no more iconic animal in the United States than the bald eagle. The country’s national bird since 1782 is now also a symbol of the success of the Endangered Species Act

When the ESA was enacted in 1973, bald eagle population numbers across the country showed that the species was close to disappearing.

“The bird had very low abundance in the lower 48 states—there were only about 30 breeding pairs in Virginia when historically there were over 2,000 breeding pair in the state,” said Jeff Cooper, DWR’s nongame bird project coordinator. “The numbers dwindled down to nothing.”

But thanks to concerted conservation efforts led by the ESA the bald eagle came roaring back, and is no longer endangered in many US states.

“I can’t really think of a greater wildlife management success story; it’s one of the biggest,” Jeff said. 

Charity check-in

At Smiley Movement, we like to elevate the work of charities across the world. Here are three charities whose causes align with the themes in this article.

National Wildlife Federation. An organization protecting cherished landscapes and wildlife in the US. Find out more.

Defenders of Wildlife. They protect animals against extinction through habitat restoration and legal campaigning. Support them.

Wildlife Conservation Society. This organization leads conservation efforts around the world. Read more.

This article aligns with the UN SDG Life on Land.

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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