Bald eagle expected to be removed from endangered species list
For Immediate Release
Contact: Jan Williams, College of Veterinary Medicine, 612-624-6228, pager: 612-534-4740
U of M contributes to delisting the bald eagle
The Raptor Center committed to the eagle's continued success
MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL (June 27, 2007) - A decision is expected this week by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to remove the bald eagle from the endangered species list. The bald eagle will continue to be protected by federal law, and the public will continue to have a critical role in keeping the population healthy by maintaining habitats and protecting the water and environment from contaminants such as lead and mercury.
The Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine has made significant contributions to the preservation of the bald eagle. It has played a key role in restoration programs, investigated the effects of lead poisoning, studied the incidence of chemical contamination in nestling eagles, and contributed to habitat preservation. The Raptor Center has treated more than 1,600 eagles during its 30-year history, and its work has been critical in providing disease surveillance in the raptor population. Each year, more than 250,000 people are educated about how their decisions affect raptor health and well-being through overdevelopment of land, use of lead in fishing and hunting activities, and contamination through misuse of chemicals.
The bald eagle is one of The Raptor Center's most common patients,said Dr. Juli Ponder, executive director of The Raptor Center. "Our current focus is to ensure the safety and health of this bird after its removal from the endangered species list. We will continue to make every effort to ensure that bald eagles continue to thrive and have a healthy environment in which to live." The Raptor Center specializes in the care, rehabilitation, and conservation of eagles, hawks, owls, and falcons, operating mostly with private funds and through the efforts of more than 200 volunteers. Established in 1974, The Raptor Center treats approximately 800 birds a year, reaches thousands of people every year through public education and events, provides training in surgery and avian medicine to veterinarians, and identifies emerging issues related to raptor health and populations.
Dr. Trevor Ames, interim dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine, notes "The Raptor Center has done a remarkable job of educating and training professionals from around the world in raptor medicine and surgery. Through its work, The Raptor Center has enhanced the health of raptors and the bond between raptors and humans."
Dr. Pat Redig, cofounder of The Raptor Center, led the University's efforts to restore the bald eagle. "I feel that we have certainly accomplished our objective, and we are pleased that the bald eagle will be taken off the endangered species list. Our promise is to continue to protect and preserve the eagle in any way we can."
The Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine specializes in the medical care, rehabilitation, and conservation of eagles, hawks, owls, and falcons. In addition to treating approximately 800 birds a year, the program provides training in raptor medicine and surgery for veterinarians from around the world, reaches more than 250,000 people each year through public education programs and events, and identifies emerging issues related to raptor health and populations.