Bald eagles' return in PA called remarkable

Written by Matt Paul, Reporter/Producer | Oct 10, 2013 3:44 AM
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(Harrisburg) -- Pennsylvania's bald eagle population is flourishing thanks to reintroduction efforts that began 30 years ago. Today, the commonwealth is closing in on 300 bald eagle nests statewide.

Doug Gross is the state Game Commission's endangered and non-game bird supervisor. He says it's been a remarkable turnaround.

"We've gone from two or three nesting pairs that were in the extreme northwestern part of the state, in Mercer County, right next to the Ohio border," Gross explains, "to now we have at least 271 nests in the state."

Gross says bald eagles are now present in 57 of the state's 67 counties, and he personally believes the state will reach the 300 nest milestone within the next three years.

The Board of Game Commissioners is considering a proposal that would remove bald eagles from the state's threatened species list.

A public comment period is currently underway ahead of a vote, which could occur as early as January.

A similar move has already occurred on the national level.

Even if the birds are de-listed, Gross says they'll still be protected by state and federal regulations.

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