The American bald eagle is back after a four-decade fight for survival. The government has just declared that the national symbol no longer requires the protection of the federal Endangered Species Act.
"Today I am proud to announce the eagle has returned," Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne proclaimed at a ceremony near the Jefferson Memorial on Thursday.
The bird had been reclassified in 1995 from endangered to threatened; the Interior Department made the recovery official today by striking off the eagle from the list of threatened species under the species-protection law.
Nearly 10,000 bald eagles now soar the skies above the contiguous 48 states, compared with a documented 417 in 1963, when the bird was on the brink of extinction everywhere except in Alaska and Canada.
This from Treehugger.com.