Scholastic
More Information
Source
Scholastic News Online

Scholastic News Online is a free resource with breaking news and highlights from the print magazine.

Available for grades 1-6, Scholastic News magazine brings high-interest current events and nonfiction to millions of classrooms each week.

Additionally, our subscribers have FREE access to Scholastic News Interactive, an exclusive online learning tool featuring digital editions, videos, interactive features, differentiated articles, and much more.


Eagles Are Back

Bald eagle no longer endangered

By Karen Fanning | June 29 , 2007
Bald eagle in flight. (Photo: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service)
Bald eagle in flight. (Photo: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service)

For more than 30 years, the American bald eagle has been perched atop the list of Endangered Species. But the stately birds have made a magnificent comeback. Government officials announced Thursday that the eagle is no longer a threatened species.


"The rescue of the bald eagle ranks among one of the greatest victories of American conservation," said John Flicker, president of the National Audubon Society. "The eagle has recovered across America."

Today, there are at least 10,000 breeding pairs in the lower 48 states—up from just 417 in 1963. Still, the population remains scattered throughout the U.S.—from just one pair in states like Vermont and Rhode Island to more than 1,300 in Minnesota.

A Population in Danger

By the 1960s, habitat loss, illegal hunting, and the use of a deadly poison called DDT had threatened the bird's survival. DDT was commonly used to kill mosquitoes. The toxin leaked into streams and lakes and infected fish. Eagles that consumed the contaminated fish had difficulty reproducing.

The government finally banned DDT in 1972. The Endangered Species Act of 1973 gave federal officials the authority to protect the eagle’s habitat. Since then, federal officials have been working to save the eagle from extinction. In 1995, the eagle's status was upgraded from "endangered" to "threatened." This week, the bird was finally dropped from the list altogether.

What Does the Future Hold?

While the soaring birds will still be safeguarded under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, some experts say those protections won’t be enough.

"There is big money to be made in cutting down and developing bald eagle habitat," says Kieran Suckling of the Center for Biological Diversity, a conservation group in Tucson, Arizona. Suckling says the legislation does not defend eagle-nesting grounds from greedy builders.

Landowner Edmund Contoski is eager to begin constructing five log homes on his seven-acre property, which is situated on Lake Sullivan in Minnesota. Until now, the 69-year-old retiree hasn't been allowed to build because of the bald eagle's nest located on his land. The Endangered Species Act forbade him from building within 330 feet of the nest.

In 2005, he took the Fish and Wildlife Service to court, demanding that they follow through on a 1999 pledge to delist the bald eagle. Contoski won. The court case set in motion Thursday's decision to finally delist the bird.

A National Treasure

For 225 years, the American bald eagle has been our country's national symbol. In 1782, the Continental Congress moved to place the bird onto the country's official seal. Thursday was an occasion to salute the bird’s past and celebrate its future.

"The eagle has returned," said Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne at an event held at the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C. "Today is an opportunity to celebrate and draw inspiration."

Endangered Species

Learn all about endangered species in this special report.

Critical Thinking Question

Read today's news story, and then answer the following question.

Do you think it was a good decision to remove the bald eagle from the list of endangered species? Why or why not?

 
Join a discussion of this question on our bulletin board.

 

About the Author

Karen Fanning is a contributing writer for Scholastic News Online.

  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    Scary Creatures: Birds of Prey

    Scary Creatures: Birds of Prey

    by Dr. Gerald Legg

    Birds of prey are excellent hunters with sharp vision and excellent smell. Find out about these animals with super senses. You may be surprised by what you learn about birds like vultures and owls in this fact-filled title.

    This intriguing series takes readers up close and inside some of the scariest creatures ever.  Special X-ray pages will captivate young readers as they get an inside and up close view of the skeleton, internal organs, and eggs of a bird of prey. Colorful illustrations "call out" each creature's unique features, and "Did You Know" questions introduce fascinating facts and explode common myths.

    Readers will enjoy beautiful illustrations and full-color photographs while discovering basic facts about birds of prey, such as how they fly and what they eat. Includes a fun world map of where birds of prey species can be found.

    Series Features

    • Includes glossary and index.
    • Special X-ray pages let readers get an "inside" look at a bird of prey's anatomy.
    • Includes fun fact boxes.
    • High interest topic for young readers.
    • Includes a fun world map of where bird to prey species can be found.
    • Grade K-4 Science- Life Science- The characteristics of organisms
    • Organisms have basic needs.
    • Each plant or animal has different structures that serve different functions in growth, survival, and reproduction
    • Life cycles of organisms
    • Plants and animals have life cycles that include being born, developing into adults, reproducing, and eventually dying.
    • Organisms and environments
    • An organism's patterns of behavior are related to the nature of that organism's environment.

    $5.21 You save: 25%
    Paperback Book | Grade 4
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    Scary Creatures: Birds of Prey
    Grade 4 $5.21
    Add To Cart
  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    Guided Reading Lecturas Cortas Level T

    Guided Reading Lecturas Cortas Level T

    Available August 2015!

    The all-new Guided Reading Short Reads brings the same high-quality nonfiction of the original Guided Reading Short Reads to both Spanish and English-speaking learners. Access to short informational texts builds vocabulary acquisition and content area knowledge for all students, providing rich support for students who are learning Spanish, and building confidence in Spanish-speaking learners that they will carry over to their English instruction.

    NEW! Guided Reading Lecturas Cortas:
    •Fits seamlessly into classroom guided reading groups
    •Teaches strategies for decoding and comprehending complex texts
    •Builds rich domain-specific vocabulary across content areas
    •Engages students with thematically linked passages across text types
    •Provides sufficiently complex, short informational texts worthy of being read, reread, and analyzed

    Each level includes:
    •10 Student Informational Text Cards, 6 copies each
    •1 Teaching Guide
    •Magazine-style storage box


    Visit the Scholastic Guided Reading Program website for more information.

    $129.00 You save: 25%
    Supplementary Collection | Grades 4-6
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    Guided Reading Lecturas Cortas Level T
    Grades 4-6 $129.00
    Add To Cart
Privacy Policy
EMAIL THIS

* YOUR FIRST NAME ONLY

* FRIEND'S FIRST NAME ONLY

* FRIEND'S EMAIL ADDRESS

MESSAGE
Here's something interesting from Scholastic.com