The plight of America’s national symbol in Iowa is a good example of the way hard work and success can bring great results. The bald eagle was put on the endangered species list after use of pesticides and loss of habitat nearly wiped it out. But Iowa D-N-R wildlife biologist Bruce Ehresman says efforts to restore the bird have soared.He calls it an extraordinary comeback that’s far beyond what was expected. He says they aren’t keep track of every nest as they used to, but there are at least 160 nests statewide and there are eagles in 62 of 99 counties. Ehresman says the program to restore the eagle started with a rather modest goal. He says back in the 1980s they set the goal to have 10 nesting pairs by the year 2000, and they ended up with over 100. Ehresman says there are now 20 new nests a year in the state. Bald eagles find what they need to flourish in Iowa. He says there’s fertile land here, and lots of fish in the rivers streams and they’re figuring out ways to live off it all and make their nests. He says the first step in putting the eagles on the Endangered Species List in 1976 was eliminating DDT, and it’s been so successful the bald eagle now is only listed as Threatened and there’s talk of removing them from the lists entirely.
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