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Re: E-M:/ Now Eagles

One thing to keep in mind:  Bald eagles, peregrine falcons, brown pelicans and other avian species were primarily damaged via DDT and the metabolites DDD/DDE.  Banning this chemical did more to protect these species than any listing under ESA.  That is not to say that ESA has not been important for several of these species, however.  Its just that folks should remember that banning certain chemicals was critical to recovery of these species, regardless of how much habitat is protected. 
Dave Zaber
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, October 22, 2001 9:28 AM
Subject: Re: E-M:/ Now Eagles

Enviro-Mich message from Smileysmlc@aol.com

The recovery of bald eagle populations is a testament to the success and
necessity of the Endangered Species Act.  With this and other success stories
of recovery, no economic collapse occurred and private property rights were
not unduly infringed.  The recovery of bald eagles, peregrine falcons and
other species, enriches the human experience and, not surprisingly, generates
millions of dollars to our economy.  Eagle watching, in particular, is very
popular activity where those birds congregate at winter feeding spots.

However, regarding bald eagles in Michigan, a note of caution is also in
order.  During the 1990s, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service regularly
monitored the nesting success of bald eagles in Michigan.  A striking finding
was that although interior nesting sites (such as along the AuSable River)
were producing successful broods, eagle nests located along the Great Lakes
were having an extremely high failure rate.  The explanation was that where
eagles were primarily eating Great Lakes fish, the chemical concentrations in
those fish greatly increased the mortality of the young, with many eggs never
hatching.  Still, there have been enough successful interior nest sites to
allow the young to disperse throughout much of Michigan.  Let us hope that we
can continue to reduce the chemical load to which we subject wildlife.

Jack Smiley
Board member, Detroit Audubon Society

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