A visit to Redwood National and State Parks is truly magical. Located in northern California, the park is home to the tallest trees in the world – the redwoods. 🌲🌲 Scotty Perkins captured this photo about a month ago as morning light streamed through the lifting fog, creating a mystical feel. Photo courtesy of Scotty Perkins.
The American Bald Eagle is a great success story for conservation and endangered species protection. Prior to the arrival of Europeans in North America, there were likely several hundred thousand eagles in the North American population. By the 1960s, that number had dwindled to fewer than 500 breeding pairs.
Eagles were impacted by habitat loss, accidental poisoning, exposure to hazardous waste, damage from construction, and exposure to pesticides like DDT.
Thanks to the Endangered Species Act and other federal laws, these threats have been minimized. Construction near Eagle nesting sites is regulated or limited to prevent them from flying into buildings or power lines, contaminants at waste disposal or industrial sites are required to be controlled, and pesticides like DDT have been banned or are at least limited in their use near eagle nests.
Today the Bald Eagle population has surged back to over 5000 breeding pairs. While this is much more stable, any time a population undergoes a bottleneck event such as this one the population is put at risk. Genetic diversity is lost when so much of a population vanishes and the population can be therefore left much more at risk from diseases or genetic abnormalities even if substantial recovery has taken place.
Preserving the American Bald Eagle therefore can’t just stop because the population has recovered. Truly protecting this species will take sustained efforts over centuries, not just years to decades.
This American Bald Eagle was photographed in Shiloh National Military Park earlier this year and shared with the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Happy 4th of July from all of us at Interior! We hope you have a safe and happy Independence Day. Pictured here are the fireworks display over the National Mall with the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and U.S. Capitol visible in Washington, DC. Photo by Cindy Tucey (www.sharetheexperience.org). 💥 🇺🇸 💥