From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 1994:

Bald eagle recovery in New
York and New Jersey reached milestones
this spring, as the former had 24 nesting
pairs and the latter five, up from one
apiece when DDT was banned in 1972.
Before the introduction of DDT, which
built up in the food chain and caused the
females to lay brittle eggs, New York had
75 pairs; New Jersey had 20 to 25. The
current population are descended from 198
eagles imported from Alaska between
1976 and 1988, plus 60 from Manitoba,
who were released between 1983 and
1988. Of the original 198, 32 are known
dead––half of them shot by vandals––and
another 32 are known to have reached
maturity and paired at least once. Eagles
from that group have now settled in seven
states. Curiously, half of the pairs who
have nested within New York state have
chosen trees that were documented nesting
sites around the end of the 19th century.

Portugal in late May acknowl-
edged poisoning 20,000 herring gulls on
Berlenga Island, 15 miles off its Atlantic
coast, to protect guillemots, eagles, and
other scarcer species who live there.
About as many herring gulls survived.
France on May 31 rescinded a
law that required all 28,000 French racing
pigeon owners to register their birds with
the defence and interior ministries, just in
case the birds should ever be needed in
Final approval of Bill Clinton’s
plan to protect spotted owl habitat is
still pending after Judge William Dwyer
of the federal district court in Seattle on
June 6 allowed limited logging of old
growth forests to go ahead, but also
allowed lawsuits filed against the plan by
both loggers and environmentalists to pro-
Dartmouth geochemists Page
Chamberlain and Joel Blum are report-
edly close to perfecting an isotope map-
ping technique that will use trace minerals
found in feathers to find out where birds
migrate from. Presently the wintering
areas of many neotropical songbird species
who summer in the U.S. are unknown.
Many of these species are in sharp decline,
according to the annual Breeding Bird
Survey conducted by volunteers under
supervision of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service. Isotope mapping may determine
whether habitat loss due to rainforest log-
ging is the cause. Complicating the issue,
some other neotropical songbirds are on
the increase.
Pigeon rescuer Buzz Alpert
and actress Robin Douglas on June 15
told the Evanston city council that its strat-
egy of sealing viaducts under rail bridges
to prevent pigeon infestation amounts to
burying pigeons alive. “I ask you to
search your soul, to test your conscience,
to find a way to be kind,” Alpert said.
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