Biologists See Bald Eagle Population Resurgence in Maine

After decades of conservation efforts, the bald eagle population is soaring in Maine.

"In the 1970s, we were at an all-time low, with under 30 bald eagle nesting pairs in the entire state," said Maine Audubon biologist Susan Gallo. "Now we have over 500 nesting pairs, and we have around 300 eaglets produced each year in Maine."

Biologists call it a conservation success story. But is the resurgence of the bald eagle now a threat to other, endangered birds?

"They do prey on a couple of our treasured species," said Gallo. "Loons is the big one that comes to mind."

Gallo said bald eagles take "a lot" of loon chicks in Maine, but she predicts the two species will find a balance.

"Eventually common loons will figure it out and they’ll protect their chicks and keep them from those eagles," she said.

Some farmers who raise chickens and sheep have complained that bald eagles are a threat to their livestock, but because the bird is still protected, their hands are tied, according to the Associated Press.

Gallo said rolling back protections could pose a risk to the eagle, despite its seemingly strong population now.

"I think with the change in the administration, and potential weakening of the Environmental Protection Agency, we don’t want to take any steps backward," she said.

Contact Us