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Bald eagle removed from Oregon’s endangered species list

The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission has approved the removal of the bald eagle from the Oregon Endangered Species List.

According to NaturalResourceReport.com, biologists estimated that in 2010 the population of nesting pairs of bald eagles had been 570, compared to only 65 pairs in 1978. While the bald eagle was already removed from the federal list of threatened and endangered species in 2007, bald eagles are still protected under various state laws.

Animal lovers are understandably upset about what they say is a very narrow definition of what is considered endangered and what is not. They love the bald eagles and want to see them continue to thrive, not just be removed from the list because they have “enough” pairs living to constitute what some humans deem an acceptable population.

As reported by the Environment News Service, both conservation groups and scientists are angry about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s proposal to define a particular phrase in the Endangered Species Act: “in danger of extinction in all or a significant portion of its range.”

Currently, the phrase is seen as helpful, because a species does not need to be at the risk of extinction everywhere in order to receive federal protection. However, the proposed policy reinterprets the meaning of the phrase, saying that ‘significant’ means only the loss of species from a portion of the range that would threaten the survival of the entire species.

“This definition fails to provide a meaningful distinction between a species that is endangered in a SPOIR [significant of portion of its range] and a species that is endangered in all of its range, which will likely result in species that are endangered in portions of their range not receiving protection,” say conservationists.

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