De-list American Bald Eagle: While I'm generally willing to let those who know what they're doing to do it, I have mixed feelings about this one. Based on the fact that American Bald Eagles numbers continue to soar ever higher, the Game Commission may remove this bird from our state's list of threatened species. To be more exact, the commission's Bureau of Wildlife Management staff is recommending the bald eagle be upgraded from "threatened" to "protected" status statewide.
Doug Gross, the biologist who heads the bureau's Endangered and Nongame Birds Section, made this suggestion at the commission's working group meeting earlier this week. During his presentation, Gross pointed out that 266 nesting pairs have been confirmed statewide so far this year. And while that count is not final and the number of confirmed nesting pairs could still rise even higher, the updated figure represents the continuation of an upward trend in Pennsylvania. Even if these birds are de-listed, they will continue to be protected under federal law. Stayed tuned, we'll probably be hearing more debate on this topic.