In 1967 bald eagles were officially declared an endangered species across all of the U.S. south of the 40th parallel.
In 1973 Richard Nixon signed into law, The Endangered Species Act, a landmark legislation known as one of the most comprehensive and critical wildlife conservation laws in the world. This law successfully sought to inform the public of the eagle’s plight and to protect its habitat.
On July 4, 1976, the US Fish and Wildlife Service officially listed the bald eagle as a national endangered species. As a result, the bald eagle is one of only a few species that have fought their way back from the U.S. endangered species list.
The bald eagle first gained protection in 1940 when the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act was passed. This law protects the take, possession, sale, purchase, barter, offer to sell (or purchase and barter), transport, export or import, of any bald eagle (alive or dead), including any part, nest, or egg. Unless, of course, there is a permit.
The bald eagle gained additional protection in 1972 when the Migratory Bird Treaty Act was passed. This law implemented treaties for the protection of shared migratory bird resources signed by the US, Mexico, Canada, Japan, and Russia. It made it illegal to pursue, hunt, take, capture, kill, possess, sell, barter, purchase, export or import migratory birds.
Even though the bald eagle is no longer protected under the federal endangered species laws, it is still protected by the both laws mentioned above as well as possible state endangered species protection laws.
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