Save The Bald Eagle-The national animal of the U.S.A. is in trouble!
Habitat and Population
The bald eagle lives in North America, and it's the national animal of the U.S.A. You heard about this beautiful bird, but you may not know that it's in danger. In 1978, the bird was listed as 'Highly Protected' in almost every state, except Wisconsin, Michigan, Oregon, Minnesota and Washington (in these states the bird is listed as 'protected'). Luckily, in Canada and Alaska, the population is relatively high and very stable. In winter the eagles get together to places with full of fish and smaller birds, so they can survive the tough season. They like the rivers where the salmon pass: every winter 3500-4500 eagle arrives to the Chilkat river (in South-Eastern Alaska) which is full of those fish who migrate to reproduce. Some of them fly about 3500km just to be able to get nourishment.
Narrowing of the Habitat
Today the biggest threat is the demolition of breeding sites, the urbanization. The eagles must search for another home, they are like us, when a disaster takes our home. The making of hydroelectric power plants blocks the way of the salmon, so the birds can not get nourishment. As mentioned in one of my other hubs, the burning of fossil energy fuels will cause the rivers to be full of poison (Aluminium), which can infect the fish and thus the birds will get sick too. The eagle can't go back to it's homeland as long as this chaos keeps going.
The DDT is called the 'Savior of Agriculture', but no one talks about its effect to the fauna. The bigger fish eats the smaller fish, which is already poisoned thus the bigger gets thousand time higher dose of the poison. The eagles stand at the top of the food chain, so a huge dose of poison accumulates in their body. This leads to a shortage of calcium in the shells of birds' eggs and causes the eggs to break easily. As the years went by the birds' death rate surpassed the birth rate, which is really sad.
The bald eagle is persecuted since ancient times by the fishermen. In Alaska, between 1915 and 1952, they gave you reward if you killed an eagle. At this time nearly 100 000 birds were killed. The bird also feeds on animal carcasses, so the peasants also came into conflict with them. Though the eagle kills grazing animals very rarely, many of them were shot by farmers. Luckily, this action is now prohibited by law in the USA.
Defending the Habitat
The most important measure was the ban on DDT in 1972. Since then, the population started to grow slowly and the eagle could move back to the old habitat. In order to protect habitat the USA made new laws. They developed protection zones around the nests in order to give them the peaceful life that they deserve. Luckily, there are breeding and repatriation programs in some places, nearly 300 birds were saved this way. It's not a big number, but it's still better than sitting home and watching TV. They can not defend themselves, we have to do this. Don't forget: if we destroy our own national animal, we destroy our nation, and that would be the biggest shame in human history.