Bald eagle off Vermont’s threatened, endangered species list

February 10, 2022 GMT
FILE- A juvenile bald eagle flies over the western shoreline of Lake Champlain, in Essex, N.Y., March 5, 2014. The bald eagle on Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022 was removed from Vermont's threatened and endangered species list after more than a decade of restoration work. (AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)
FILE- A juvenile bald eagle flies over the western shoreline of Lake Champlain, in Essex, N.Y., March 5, 2014. The bald eagle on Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022 was removed from Vermont's threatened and endangered species list after more than a decade of restoration work. (AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)
FILE- A juvenile bald eagle flies over the western shoreline of Lake Champlain, in Essex, N.Y., March 5, 2014. The bald eagle on Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022 was removed from Vermont's threatened and endangered species list after more than a decade of restoration work. (AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)
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FILE- A juvenile bald eagle flies over the western shoreline of Lake Champlain, in Essex, N.Y., March 5, 2014. The bald eagle on Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022 was removed from Vermont's threatened and endangered species list after more than a decade of restoration work. (AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)
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FILE- A juvenile bald eagle flies over the western shoreline of Lake Champlain, in Essex, N.Y., March 5, 2014. The bald eagle on Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022 was removed from Vermont's threatened and endangered species list after more than a decade of restoration work. (AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Vermont removed the bald eagle from its listing of threatened and endangered species on Thursday after more than a decade of restoration work, officials said.

Until the September 2008 confirmation that a bald eagle pair had successfully raised a young eagle along the upper reaches of the Connecticut River, Vermont was the only state without breeding eagles. Last year biologists discovered 64 young eagles in Vermont and more than 75 were found in a recovery region, which includes portions of New Hampshire and New York.

“The bald eagle’s de-listing is a milestone for Vermont,” said Wildlife Division Director Mark Scott in a news release. “This reflects more than a decade of dedicated work by Vermont Fish & Wildlife and partners. It shows that Vermonters have the capacity to restore and protect the species and habitats that we cherish.”

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Rosalind Renfrew, Vermont’s wildlife diversity manager, said the delisting will reduce the state’s monitoring of the bird, but other conservation efforts are in place, such as the Bald Eagle and Golden Eagle Protection Act.

Habitat destruction and the use of the pesticide DDT beginning in the 1940s reduced the numbers of bald eagles — adopted as the national symbol in the 1700s — across North America. By the early 1960s, the birds were nearly wiped out.

DDT was banned in 1972 and six years later, the bald eagle was placed on the federal endangered species list. It was removed from the federal list in 2007.

Also delisted in Vermont on Thursday was the short-styled snakeroot, a flowering plant of dry woodland habitats. The American bumblebee; the brook floater, a species of freshwater mussel; and two plant species, Houghton’s sedge and rue anemone, have been listed as endangered, which means they are considered at immediate risk of becoming locally extinct in the state, the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department said.

The bird species the Eastern meadowlark was listed as threatened, meaning it’s considered at risk of becoming endangered without timely conservation action, the department said.