A species no longer at risk
This magnificent bird of prey flies over Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. The bald eagle is part of a conservation success story, for our national bird was once headed toward extinction. A rapid decline in bald eagle populations was one of the motivating factors in establishing the Endangered Species Act of 1973. The chemical pesticide DDT, previously thought to be safe, was causing high mortality rates for bald eagle chicks, as well as many other birds exposed to the chemical. DDT was banned, and the eagles’ numbers began to rise again.
Today, the bald eagle is no longer considered threatened, partly due to the continued impact of the Endangered Species Act in protecting habitat. And the act has broad influence over wildlife management and regulations, beyond what it achieved for eagles and raptors. By classifying the relative health of different species—from endangered to ‘least concern’ status—the Endangered Species Act helps various agencies understand how to respond to the factors that threaten healthy ecosystems.
Green sea turtle in Hawaii