The number of breeding Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) in Alabama has varied significantly in the last century. At the beginning of the 1900’s, the Bald Eagle was a fairly common resident on the Gulf Coast and occurred locally in the interior of the state, especially along the Tennessee River (Howell 1928). By about 1960, however, Bald Eagles were no longer breeding in Alabama (Imhof 1976). Similar Bald Eagle declines in the first half of the 20th century occurred throughout the contiguous United States because of the use of pesticides such as dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane (DDT), as well as persecution by humans (Howell 1928, Federal Register 1995, Buehler 2000). Due to the species’ precipitous decline in the contiguous United States, the population south of the 40th parallel was listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1978 (Federal Register 1995, Buehler 2000). With the banning of DDT in 1972, the protection offered by the ESA, a new public environmental awareness, and state and federal breeding recovery programs, the Bald Eagle has made a dramatic recovery throughout its range in the last 20 years (Buehler 2000, Federal Register 2006). Due to the recovery of the Bald Eagle, it was reclassified as threatened by the USFWS in 1995, and is currently being considered for delisting (Federal Register 2006).
Author: M. Keith Hudson and Thomas M. Haggerty
Volume Number: 52 Year Published: 2006
Issue Number: 1
Page Number: 1-8
Link to article: http://birdlife.aosbirds.org/2006/52_1_pages1-8.pdf
Link to the full issue of BirdLife: http://birdlife.aosbirds.org/2006/Vol 52 No. 1_2006.pdf