U.S. bald eagle populations have more than quadrupled in the lower 48 states since 2009, according to a new survey from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The number of bald eagles in the lower 48 U.S. states — a population once on the brink of extinction — has quadrupled in the last dozen years to more than 316,000, federal wildlife officials say, despite steep declines in other American bird populations. A new survey by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found there are more than 70,000 breeding pairs of the iconic raptor in the contiguous U.S. In the late 1960s, there were fewer than 500. The turnaround is a "historic conservation success story," said newly confirmed Interior Secretary Deb Haaland at a news conference Wednesday. "The bald eagle has always been considered a sacred species to American Indian people, and similarly it’s sacred to our nation as America’s national symbol," said Haaland, a member of New Mexico’s Laguna Pueblo and the first Native American Cabinet secretary. The success story, wildlife officials said, is a dramatic reminder of the power of conservation efforts. Bald eagles were hunted, poisoned and extirpated from their habitat across the contiguous U.S. for more […]

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