Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Arizona's bald eagles lose federal protection

Arizona's bald eagles suffered what wildlife advocates called a crushing setback after a judge ruled that the birds can be removed from the federal threatened- and endangered-species list. A conservation group said it would file a new lawsuit Monday seeking to keep the state's eagle population on the list. U.S. District Judge Mary Murguia did not address the larger issue of whether Arizona's desert nesting eagles deserve greater protection than other eagles. Rather, she said the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had complied with her earlier order to review the status of the population, which biologists say is separate from other eagles in the contiguous 48 states. Her ruling was dated Thursday. The Wildlife Service's review concluded that the Arizona eagles were not biologically distinct enough to warrant continued protection. The agency removed the bald eagle from the threatened list in 2007, declaring that the species as a whole had sufficiently recovered...more

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