DEP’s 2018 Bald Eagle, Peregrine Falcon Reports Highlight Species’ Ongoing Recovery in New Jersey

Jan 09, 2019
Photo by: Jay Mann A peregrine falcon in Holgate.

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Division Fish and Wildlife has posted online the 2018 reports for bald eagle and peregrine falcon management and research, highlighting the species’ continuing resurgence in the state.

“The bald eagle is a shining example of recovery in New Jersey,” the NJDEP notes online at njfishandwildlife.com. “In 1973, when the Endangered and Nongame Species Conservation Act was passed, there was just one nesting pair, in a remote forest in Cumberland County. Today there are more than 150 nesting pairs of eagles in the state.

“They remain on the state endangered species list, however, due to their sensitivity to environmental contaminants, habitat loss and human disturbance. The challenge to biologists and citizens now is protecting the lands and waterways used by eagles to maintain and enhance this species’ recovery.”

Similarly, numbers of peregrine falcons – the fastest bird in the skies – fell in decades past due to the effects of the pesticide DDT, which caused their eggs to fail, and they became extinct east of the Mississippi by 1964.

“They were one of the first birds to be the focus of conservation,” the NJDEP explains, “and through an intensive reintroduction program, returned to the skies in New Jersey and other eastern states in the 1980s.”

The state population of peregrine falcons has been about 20 to 24 pairs annually since 2000.

In 2003, the raptors returned to their historic cliff nesting habitat on the Hudson River Palisades – a major milestone in the peregrine's recovery in the state and the region.

The full reports can be viewed online at njfishandwildlife.com. The site also includes links to bald eagle and peregrine falcon cams managed by the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey. —J.K.-H.

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