This was another successful year for Vermont’s bald eagles with 23 known nesting pairs producing at least 33 young, according to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department.
The bald eagle remains on the list of species protected under Vermont’s state endangered species law, but its continued recovery success may enable it to be delisted within the next five years.
“The continued recovery of bald eagles is the result of a long-term effort by our department and our partners to conserve the habitat these birds need to thrive,” said John Buck, migratory bird biologist with Vermont Fish & Wildlife.
Bald eagles declined nationwide in the 20th century due to loss of habitat, disturbance to nests, and the effects of the pesticide DDT. Laws such as the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act and a ban on DDT have aided in their recovery.
Bald eagles have recovered in most of the continental U.S. and have been removed from the federal endangered species list but remain on Vermont’s state endangered species list as they continue to recover locally.
“Vermonters have played a huge role in the recovery of bald eagles,” said Margaret Fowle, biologist with Audubon Vermont. “We work with a large number of citizen volunteers who help monitor nests, while the general public has aided in recovery efforts by maintaining a respectful distance from them during the critical nesting season.”
Vermonters can help researchers with conservation efforts by donating to the nongame wildlife fund at vtfishandwildlife.com or by purchasing a conservation license plate for their vehicle.