Biologist: Bald eagles now thriving in Indiana

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Bald eagles were all but gone from Indiana by the end of the 1800s, now the majestic bird that is the symbol of the United States it thriving in the Hoosier state.

Over the last few years, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources has kept a close eye on the return of the bald eagle to Indiana and has now decided to take the bird off the state’s list of animal species of concern. The bald eagle was taken off the state’s endangered list a couple of years ago.

“They are no longer a species of special concern,” said Indiana’s non-game bird biologist Allison Gillette to Indiana Outdoors. “It means we don’t need to monitor them as much as we used to because the population is soaring, literally soaring!”

In the early 1990s efforts began to take hold in reintroducing the bald eagle to Indiana by relocating a few bald eagle couples from Wisconsin to Indiana. SLowly through careful observation and measures to protect the birds, their population has dramatically increased in the last three decades.

“I think we had around 390 eagle’s nests reported in 2020 alone,” Gillette added. “About 360 of them are in ‘good shape’, meaning they are still being cared for by an eagle pairing.”

That’s compared to less than ten, if that, by the late 1970s.

Though the state is scaling things back in keeping an eye on bald eagles in Indiana, that doesn’t mean they are no longer protected. In fact, bald eagles, as well as golden eagles, are permanently protected in the United States by federal law.

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