Feds say eagles no longer are endangered

February 15, 2006

The U.S. government wants to remove eagles from the endangered species list, noting the population has gone from 413 breeding pairs in 1963 to 7,066 today.

The move has produced an unusual response from environmental groups that normally oppose such actions. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials Monday who announced the goal were joined by representatives of several environmental organizations.

In a related move, U.S. officials issued new voluntary guidelines to protect eagles' nests and feeding grounds after the bird is no longer a threatened species, as well as defining some terms that protect eagles under existing laws, such as the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, The New York Times reported Tuesday. The guidelines are to be detailed Thursday in the Federal Register.

A senior ecologist with Environmental Defense, Timothy Male, said although federal officials estimate the number of breeding pairs of eagles at 7,066, his organization believes the number is greater than 9,000.

"There is no clearer victory in the history of the Endangered Species Act," Male told The Times.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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