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Ohio’s bald eagle census is great news for nature lovers

Ohio nature lovers got some good news this spring, when the state Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife announced the results of its most recent bald eagle census. The once-endangered national symbol appears to be doing quite well for itself here. Eagles have been spotted across our own communities.

According to ODNR, there are an estimated 806 bald eagle nests in the state. That’s a 14 percent increase from a 2020 citizens science survey coordinated by the Division of Wildlife.

“Bald eagle management by the Division of Wildlife includes habitat conservation with an emphasis on wetlands and wooded river corridors, working with rehabilitators who help injured birds recover, and helping to enforce protective state and federal laws,” said Division of Wildlife Chief Kendra Wecker. “We are incredibly proud that Ohio’s bald eagle population continues to improve and grow.”

If bald eagles are thriving, that means there is clean water from which they can grab healthy fish. Back at the species’ low point in the state — 1979 — that wasn’t the case, and there were only an estimated four nesting pairs. We’ve come a long way since then, in terms of caring for our environment and wildlife.

But just because bald eagles are doing better here does not mean they are not still a protected species. And just because we are doing better for our flora and fauna does not mean we can ease up in our effort to make up for the damage done over generations of pollution and industrial damage.

Apparent success for the bald eagle should serve simply as inspiration to keep doing better. Clearly, we are capable.

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