[va-richmond-general] Potential Problem?

  • From: "IE Ries" <featherchaser@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "RAS" <va-richmond-general@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 18 Jun 2005 23:38:47 -0400


  Thriving Bald Eagles May Lose Protection 
  By MARK SCOLFORO, Associated Press Writer Fri Jun 17,10:50 PM ET 

  HARRISBURG, Pa. - The population of bald eagles has rebounded so dramatically 
in Pennsylvania that the species may soon be moved off the state's endangered 
list and accorded the less serious status of a threatened species. 

  The state was down to three nesting pairs by 1980, all in Crawford County, 
but the nesting population currently numbers at least 92 pairs and their range 
extends to about one-third of Pennsylvania's 67 counties.
  The Pennsylvania Game Commission will consider the change of status later 
this month, along with proposals to add two birds to the endangered list and 
move three from threatened to endangered.

  Active bald eagle nests in Pennsylvania have averaged 1.4 offspring annually 
in recent years, and about 15 new nest sites have been discovered this year 
alone, said Game Commission wildlife biologist Dan Brauning, who supervises the 
wildlife diversity program.

  Eagles are nesting in such areas as suburban Philadelphia that are outside 
their traditional strongholds along the Susquehanna River and in the wetlands 
of northwestern Pennsylvania.

  "It's reflecting what has happened, the work that's gone into the species 
over many, many years, and I think it's a day to celebrate," Brauning said 

  The proposed changes would be the first revisions to Pennsylvania's 
endangered and threatened species lists in six years. Besides the decision on 
the bald eagle, there are also proposals to add blackpoll warblers and 
black-crowned night herons to the endangered list and reclassify as endangered 
dickcissels, sedge wrens and yellow-bellied flycatchers.

  Birds proposed for the lists generally have low numbers and diminishing 

  Coalbed Swamp, a remote gameland near Noxen in Wyoming County, is home to 
many of the remaining blackpoll warblers and yellow-bellied flycatchers. There 
have only been two or three sedge wren sightings each year since 1996, and 
dickcissel nests are regularly found only in Cumberland and Adams counties.

  There are currently 14 bird and mammal species on Pennsylvania's endangered 
list, which is similar to the federal list but covers only animals native to 
Pennsylvania. Eight species are on the state's threatened list and one native 
animal, the passenger pigeon, is listed as extinct.

  "We're tweaking things a little finely here. For instance, the Carolina 
parakeet, on some people's lists, did occur in Pennsylvania, and it's extinct. 
But (there)'s not hard evidence that they nested here," Brauning said.

  Animals on the lists are protected by state-funded conservation programs. 
There are additional criminal fines for killing them and their presence in an 
area can complicate or stop development and construction.


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