Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Florida relaxing protections for Bald Eagles

Florida is calling the bald eagle is one of the state's great conservation success stories and because of that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is updating the way it manages and protects the species.
The bald eagle was removed from state listing in 2008 and since that time, the number of nesting eagles in Florida has continued to increase.
When the state began counting eagle numbers in 1972 there were only 88 nests documented around the state – the birds have faced threats from habitat destruction, shooting, poisoning and pesticides.
There are now an estimated 1,500 nesting pairs in Florida – that's more than any other state except Alaska and Minnesota.
Now Florida plans to relax some of the protections in place for the species.
Some of the proposals include eliminating the redundancy of obtaining both state and federal permits for activities with the potential to disturb bald eagles or their nests.
Under the recommendations, a state permit will not be needed for activity that might disturb eagles as long as a federal permit is obtained.
The FWC is also working on a new Species Action Plan to replace the management plan.

The state will also continue its efforts to educate the public about bald eagles, as well as provide law enforcement protections and monitor the status of the eagle population to ensure it remains stable or increases.