What action is the state
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission (FWC) approved removing the bald eagle from the state
list of threatened species on April 9, 2008. There is also a state
rule to protect eagles (F.A.C. 68A-16.002). The new rule went into
effect in May 2008. The bald eagle was removed from the federal
list of endangered species in August 2007. FWC has also released a
state Bald Eagle
Management Plan that outlines recommendations to help avoid
violating state and federal laws. There are also federal
National Bald Eagle Management Guidelines available through the
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).
Since the eagle is no longer a listed
species is it still being protected? If so, what are the state and
federal laws protecting the bald eagle?
Yes, the eagle is still protected by both the FWC
and the USFWS. The new Florida eagle rule is F.A.C. 68A-16.002. It
outlines that it is illegal to disturb or take an eagle in Florida.
For further information please review the state eagle
rule. There are two
federal laws protecting eagles, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act
(MBTA) and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (BGEPA). For
more information about the federal laws please visit the USFWS bald
eagle Web site.
What is the current population status
(both nationally and in Florida) of the bald eagle?
The current nesting population of the bald eagle in
the lower 48 states is 9,789 pairs. Florida has 1,340 nesting
territories (2008-2009 nesting season data). Florida is home to
more nesting pairs than any other state, other than Alaska and
What has contributed to the recovery of
the Florida eagle population?
The Florida bald eagle population and their nests
have been protected through science-based land management,
regulation, public education and law enforcement. Since the ban of
the pesticide Dichloro-Diphenyl-Trichloroethane (DDT) in 1972,
Florida's eagle population has increased more than 300 percent over
the last 24 years (or three generations of eagles).
Will the eagles in Florida still be
The documented nesting population of bald eagles in
Florida will be monitored for the next 24 years in order to obtain
the information needed to determine if the population continues to
stabilize or increases over time. The FWC eagle nesting territory
survey is conducted annually from November to March using
fixed-wing aircraft. In 2009 the FWC re-designed the survey so we
currently visit each nest once every three years. By doing
this we are able to focus on a sub-sample of nests (which
statistically represent the entire state) and get complete
information about productivity and nest status. This information is
critical to ensure we are meeting the conservation objectives of
the Bald Eagle Management Plan.
I found a new nest or I want to know
the status of a nest. Where is that information?
If a new nest has been discovered, make sure it is
an undocumented nest using the eagle
nest locator and then follow the directions on the Web site to
report a new nest. If you have checked the Web site and still
aren't sure, e-mail email@example.com with the
following information: The county the nest is located in, the
global positioning system (GPS) location or nearest address,
direction, and distance to the nest and your complete contact
information. We will be happy to check in our database to determine
if the nest is new.
I have a project and I am not sure if
it will affect eagles. What should I do now?
Go to the FWC eagle Web site for more information
regarding whether or not the project will affect an eagle. There is
assistance page, general information, and links to the state
and federal management plans.
I have followed the
state management plan guidelines and the eagle abandoned its
nest. Am I in violation of state rule?
No, you will not be in violation of the state
eagle rule if you abide by the guidelines, whether a
disturbance occurs or not. The guidelines are not law, but they are
in place to help avoid potentially breaking the state eagle
rule. The FWC will not seek to prosecute any individuals who
follow the eagle management plan guidelines. The USFWS may require
a permit if there is a potential to disturb or take a bald eagle.
Please consult the USFWS bald
eagle Web site for further information.
I may need an eagle permit. What do I
Go to the FWC eagle permitting Web site for more
information regarding whether or not your project will affect an
eagle and require a permit. A Regional Biologist or the FWC Eagle Plan Coordinator can
assist you with interpreting the guidelines and determining whether
or not an eagle permit is actually necessary.
Will previously issued state and
federal permits still be honored?
Yes, under part 1.b. of F.A.C. 68A-16.002 Bald
Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), FWC permits issued under
imperiled species regulations or Biological Opinions or permits
issued by the USFWS under the Endangered Species Act will be