Arizona Bald Eagle Stays Off Endangered List

November 06, 2014

An Arizona federal judge upheld the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision from Nov. 5 to remove the Sonoran Desert bald eagle from the endangered species list.

Nationwide the bald eagle was classified as endangered in 1995, when a chemical known as DDT found in pesticides damaged their ability to reproduce. After DDT was banned, the population numbers rebounded and the bird was delisted in 2007.

The Sonoran Desert bald eagle received special protection from 2008 to 2010 so federal officials could assess the birds’ habitat and well-being.

The Center for Biological Diversity argued a small population of desert dwelling bald eagles represents a “distinct population segment,” so it should be protected. The group is concerned the birds are vulnerable to drought, climate change and habitat loss.

U.S. District Judge David Campbell found the federal agency made a thorough analysis with adequate scientific evidence saying the bald eagles are “highly adaptable.”

Currently about 50 breeding pairs nest along the rivers of central Arizona.