Identify one species of plant or animal in your local area which is threatened, endangered, or locally endangered, or which became extinct in historic times. Explain what destroyed or threatens this species locally, how does or might the absence of this species affect your locality, and what, if any, steps were taken or are being taken to preserve the species. (minimum 100 words)
The Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) is a threatened species within the state of Pennsylvania, currently ranked as imperiled but breeding. Within the United States it has grown to a secure status, but is still considered threatened here. The Bald Eagle’s numbers dwindled to an extreme amount in the 1970’s due to pollution of waterways within Pennsylvania by the insecticide DDT. Additional threats included disease and disturbance of their breeding grounds. Their status was not just threatened within Pennsylvania, but across the country. Being as this is a symbol of the American Spirit and also the natives of this land, the Bald Eagle is a very important part of our history and our roots.
Since becoming a part of the endangered species list, the Bald Eagle has finally started making a promising come-back within Pennsylvania. We have over 170 nests in our state alone and their breeding areas are becoming more protected by the National Heritage Program and the Game Commission. They strongly advocate reporting Bald Eagle sightings, and work to keep a protective barrier around the breeding grounds of at least 1000 feet. Thankfully the Bald Eagle also seems to be adapting to suburban and urban sprawl, which should help encourage their growth even more.
(Word Count: 205)
Pennsylvania National Heritage Program. Bald Eagle. Pennsylvania National Heritage Program. Bald Eagle. Web. 21 Apr. 2011. <http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/wrcp/factsheets/Bald%20Eagle.pdf>.
“Bald Eagle Population Soars Past 170 Nests — Pennsylvania EBird.” EBird News and Features — EBird. 11 Mar. 2010. Web. 21 Apr. 2011. <http://ebird.org/content/pa/news/bald-eagle-population-soars-past-170-nests>.