MAY 26, 1997
We must continue to protect the bald eagle
For over 30 years, the bald eagle has gone through a period of genocide. For 36 years, Alaska paid up to $2 for each raptor (bird of prey) head. Is this how we should treat our national symbol?
In addition to a bounty, the bald eagle has fought a war with chemicals such as DDT (dichlorodipehenytrichloroethane). DDT drastically weakens the eggshell, making them break easily. In 1951, 106 million pounds of DDT was used in the USA. The insects that DDT was supposed to kill have gained an immunity. Now DDT remains in the soil and in the streams.
After surviving DDT contamination, the bald eagle population began to rise. Gunshot wounds also rose, becoming a leading cause of death. Bald eagles have been removed from the endangered species list and are now considered threatened. This does not mean we don't have to protect bald eagles. They live in the same trees that shade us, they eat the same fish we do, and they drink the same water we do.
By simply conserving our resources, recycling and supporting groups like the Nature Conservancy and the National Audubon Society, bald eagles will live forever.
"If America has a reason to be proud of her Washington, so has she to be proud of her great eagle." (John Audubon.)
Patrick Corwin , Bothell