Agriculture
Fast-flying fungal spores
Earth-Friendly Fabrics
Making the most of a meal
Amphibians
Newts
Salamanders
Bullfrogs
Animals
Not Slippery When Wet
Professor Ant
Walks on the Wild Side
Behavior
When Darwin got sick of feathers
Mind-reading Machine
Wired for Math
Birds
Dodos
Kiwis
Flightless Birds
Chemistry and Materials
Graphene's superstrength
Batteries built by Viruses
Cooking Up Superhard Diamonds
Computers
The Earth-bound asteroid scientists saw coming
Middle school science adventures
The Book of Life
Dinosaurs and Fossils
A Big, Weird Dino
Early Birds Ready to Rumble
Supersight for a Dino King
E Learning Jamaica
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Earth
Killer Space Rock Snuffed Out Ancient Life
Springing forward
Snowflakes and Avalanches
Environment
A 'Book' on Every Living Thing
The Wolf and the Cow
Improving the Camel
Finding the Past
The Taming of the Cat
Big Woman of the Distant Past
Childhood's Long History
Fish
Electric Catfish
Skates
Mako Sharks
Food and Nutrition
The Color of Health
Food for Life
Chocolate Rules
GSAT English Rules
Pronouns
Who vs. That vs. Which
Whoever vs. Whomever
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Ministry of Education Announces 82 GSAT Scholarships for 2010
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Access denied - Disabled boy aces GSAT
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
GSAT Mathematics
Math Naturals
Math of the World
A Sweet Advance in Candy Packing
Human Body
A Long Haul
Music in the Brain
Cell Phone Tattlers
Invertebrates
Centipedes
Corals
Squid
Mammals
Hares
Bumblebee Bats
Chimpanzees
Parents
Children and Media
Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
The Surprising Meaning and Benefits of Nursery Rhymes
Physics
The Pressure of Scuba Diving
IceCube Science
Road Bumps
Plants
Bright Blooms That Glow
Fast-flying fungal spores
A Change in Leaf Color
Reptiles
Asp
Boa Constrictors
Box Turtles
Space and Astronomy
A Star's Belt of Dust and Rocks
A Whole Lot of Nothing
Planning for Mars
Technology and Engineering
Squeezing Oil from Old Wells
Drawing Energy out of Wastewater
Dancing with Robots
The Parts of Speech
What is a Verb?
Pronouns
What is a Preposition?
Transportation
Are Propellers Fin-ished?
Robots on the Road, Again
Middle school science adventures
Weather
Arctic Melt
Polar Ice Feels the Heat
In Antarctica watch the heat (and your step)
Add your Article

Bald Eagles Forever

It's easy to see a bald eagle in the United States. Just look at the official seal on a $1 bill. To the nation's founders, the big, white-headed bird represented freedom and majestic beauty, and it quickly became a national symbol. Today, the bald eagle is also an example of an environmental success story. In the 1960s, only about 400 breeding pairs of bald eagles remained in the lower 48 states. Now, thousands of bald eagles soar U.S. skies, and their numbers continue to grow. "You hear a lot of bad news about what happens to wildlife, and species are added to the endangered species list all the time," says John Kostyack of the National Wildlife Federation in Washington, D.C. But "we do have success stories," he adds. Bald eagles have recovered so well that the U.S. Congress may soon remove them from the list of endangered and threatened species. However, scientists are still debating whether this change ought to occur. The final decision should come this summer. Endangered species Trouble for bald eagles and other birds began when farmers began to use a chemical called DDT, which protected crops from insects but also killed birds and made the shells of their eggs dangerously thin. The U.S. government banned DDT in 1970, and bird populations started to rebound. A law called the Endangered Species Act (ESA) also helped. Passed in 1973, the ESA makes it illegal to harm plants and animals listed as endangered or threatened. It also protects their habitats. If anyone wants to build on land where listed species live, scientists must review the proposal first. "The act is a safety net intended to stop us before we drive a species to extinction," says Cat Lazaroff of the law firm Earthjustice. "It helps us look before we leap and make decisions that allow us to live side by side with the wildlife in this country." The bald eagle's recovery, Lazaroff says, is a perfect example of how well the ESA can work. It also illustrates how science and the law can team up to battle environmental problems. Organizations such as Earthjustice sometimes go to court to stop construction projects if scientists believe that development will put an endangered species at risk. Coastline nests Even though bald eagles are making a strong return, some scientists aren't sure that these birds should be removed from the endangered species list anytime soon. To qualify for removal, a bird's population must reach a certain size, and there must be strong evidence that the numbers will stay high. For the bald eagle, there's no guarantee of continued population growth, says Bryan Watts. He's a bird ecologist at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va. One problem is land development. Eagles prefer to build nests along coastlines, Watts says, often in the same places where people want to live too. "From a biological standpoint, bald eagles have recovered," Watts says. "But every year we see larger and larger tracts of land being developed. If we look 50 years down the road, we're concerned that . . . recovery will be reversed due to habitat loss." Watts also worries that taking bald eagles off the list might reduce scientific interest in the species. For 50 years, scientists have been monitoring eagle populations and gathering information about how to keep them healthy. In one recent study, William & Mary graduate student Catherine Markham, who studies eagle populations in the Chesapeake Bay, found that eagles reproduce best in certain areas of the bay where the salt concentration, or salinity, of the water is low. The Chesapeake Bay is on the eastern coast of the United States. This tells us that "low-salinity areas have to be the focus of conservation efforts," Watts says. "That's where the heart of the [bald eagle] population is." Monitoring populations Yearly monitoring has shown that a bald eagle needs to have an average of 0.7 chick per year to sustain the population, Watts says. When DDT contamination was high, that average dropped to 0.2 in the Chesapeake region. Now, the average is a healthy 1.8 chicks per year. Keeping an eye on these numbers is essential for identifying population crashes in the future. Every March in the Chesapeake Bay, for example, Watts and his colleagues fly above the treetops to count eagle nests. In May, these researchers swoop into the canopy to count eggs. They also climb trees to mark birds. This lets them track the birds' eating habits and other details of their behavior. Such monitoring is important, Watts says, because the needs of society conflict increasingly with those of endangered species. Opinions welcome The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is accepting comments about the proposal to remove bald eagles from the endangered species list until May. If you have an opinion, there are several ways to make yourself heard.

Bald Eagles Forever
Bald Eagles Forever








Designed and Powered by HBJamaica.com™