SALEM, Ore. — Bald eagles are no longer considered threatened by the state of Oregon. The state’s Fish and Wildlife Commission has voted to remove the iconic bird from the state list of endangered species.
The federal government removed bald eagles from the threatened and endangered species list about five years ago. But some states, including Oregon, chose to keep the raptors on their own list of at-risk animals.
But Oregon wildlife officials say the bald eagle population has rebounded dramatically — up nine-fold over the past 30 years.
“As the population increases, there are definitely likely to be territorial interactions between nesting pairs, so it gets to a point when you’re not going pack in more nesting pairs into a particular landscape,” says Martin Nugent, who oversees the Endangered Species program at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The state of Washington made a similar move to Oregon’s down-listing some years ago. But wherever you live, you still can’t mess with bald eagles. There’s still a standalone federal law giving the raptors a high degree of protection from harassment.
(This was first reported for the Northwest News Network.)