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Bald Eagle - January 2003 Species of the Month

Bald eagle photo The Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) was January's Species of the Month in honor of the 30th Anniversary of the New Jersey Endangered Species Conservation Act and the formation of DEP's Endangered and Nongame Species Program (ENSP).

After being decimated by poor reproduction due to pollution, New Jersey's bald eagle population has been growing each year since the late 1980s. At that time, there was just one active nest remaining. The state gained its second nest in 1988, and the population has been growing ever since, thanks to ENSP's reintroduction efforts in the 1980s and annual management.

Bald Eagles: New Jersey's Success Story

  • The Division of Fish and Wildlife began to implement strategies to help the bald eagle population in 1982, after decades of impacts from hunting and pesticide use.
  • In 2003, volunteers counted 137 bald eagles during the State’s annual Mid-Winter Bald Eagle Survey (fewer than 10 were observed in 1978).
  • The number of known breeding pairs in New Jersey rose from one in 1982 to 34 in 2002.
Bald eagle in flight
Bald eagle close-up

Bald Eagle Facts of Interest

  • Eagles are at the top of the food chain, which makes them vulnerable to toxic chemicals in the environment.
  • Eagles consume fish, small mammals, waterfowl and dead animal matter.
  • Bald eagle habitat consists of forest associated with bodies of water.
  • The average lifespan of an eagle is fifteen to twenty years or longer.
  • The bald eagle was selected as the National emblem in 1782.
Ways You Can Help
Want to volunteer? Enjoy giving presentations? Looking for speakers? The Division of Fish and Wildlife offers two opportunities: The Endangered and Nongame Species Programs Speakers Bureau and the Division’s Wildlife Conservation Corps. Visit these sites for details.
Check-off for wildlife when completing your state tax return for 2002! This is a primary funding source for the preservation of the State's endangered and nongame wildlife.
Conserve Wildlife license plate
Order a “Conserve Wildlife special interest license plate for your vehicle. It's tax-deductible, with 80 percent of the payment benefiting New Jersey's Endangered and Nongame Species Program.
Additional Sources of Information
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Copyright © State of New Jersey, 1996-2005
Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: November 30, 2005