Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Bald eagle population soaring in Pennsylvania

0 comments
Two bald eagles with an eaglet at Raystown Lake near Huntingdon, Pa. The Pennsylvania Game Commission says the number of nests in the state at mid-year has reached a new record. (Hal Korber / PA Gaming Commission)
Two bald eagles with an eaglet at Raystown Lake near Huntingdon, Pa. The Pennsylvania Game Commission says the number of nests in the state at mid-year has reached a new record. (Hal Korber / PA Gaming Commission)

One national symbol is reaching new records this Independence Day.

The bald-eagle population in Pennsylvania is soaring, state Game Commission data released this week shows.

In its annual mid-year count, 254 bald-eagle nests were documented in Pennsylvania, the commission said. That number is a record for the yearly pre-Fourth of July tally, and is expected to grow as more nests are counted in the coming months.

Nesting eagles were found in 59 of the state's 67 counties, also a record, officials said.

"Pennsylvania continues to sustain a healthy and growing bald-eagle population, and the fact eagles are branching out to more areas of the sate indicates there are more gains to come," Patti Barber, a biologist with the commission's endangered and nongame birds section, said in a statement.

The numbers are a small uptick from the eagles recorded at this time last year: The July 2013 count documented 252 nests in 57 counties.

But the bird's population in Pennsylvania has soared over the past three decades.

In 1983, there were just three bald-eagle nests in the state, all in Crawford County. Water pollution, persecution and pesticides had all contributed to the animal's decline, according to the Game Commission.

That year, state officials launched a program to restore the bald eagle's population. In 1998, 25 pairs of nesting eagles were counted in the state. That number climbed to 100 nests in 2006, and has continued to grow since then.

The bird was removed from the state's list of threatened species in January.


Contact Emily Babay at 215-854-2153 or ebabay@philly.com. Follow @emilybabay on Twitter.

Contact the Breaking News Desk at 215-854-2443 or BreakingNewsDesk@philly.com. Follow @phillynews on Twitter.

Philly.com
0 comments
We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy:

Philly.com comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by Philly.com staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
 
comments powered by Disqus
Also on Philly.com
letter icon Newsletter