Conservationists want more protection for bald eagles at Jordan Lake Park

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APEX, NC (WTVD) — An ABC11 viewer is warning others to be vigilant after an eagle nest was spotted at Jordan Lake.

The alert, which was sent to ABC11, said:

“Eagles are re-occupying the nest at Picnic Area A, Refuge 8 at Jordan Lake. The area must be closed immediately, as federal law prevents people from being within 330 feet of an active nest. (The actual law states 660 feet, but many jurisdictions use 330 feet now, despite the federal law.) Chicks were lost last year when the nest was not protected. Please don’t let this happen again as it is very easily preventable as all that is needed is to close this one area until the chicks fledge which should be in June. It’s also a great teaching tool as the public becomes more aware that our wildlife is under threat from humans.”

We met with Dr. Ellen Tinsley, a veterinarian and passionate advocate for North Carolina’s bald eagles. Speaking at Jordan Lake State Park, she said the excessive attention from people wanting photos of the eagles has spooked the birds, leading to dire consequences.

“There were two eaglets in that nest that were almost fledged, and like any bird, when they’re scared, they try to fly,” she said.

Tinsley said one of those eaglets did not survive, but the parents eventually returned.

“They don’t want to just suddenly abandon the nest. It takes a lot of energy,” she said. – So they returned, started repairing the nest.

Tinsley says people who come within 300 feet of an active eagle nest are breaking federal law. She considers those spectators who do not live in nests, like the one we saw, but attack other eagles, to be a greater threat to eagles.

“But it’s a normal part of nature,” she said. “It’s not people who should know better, under the nest, okay?”

John C. Hammond, a biologist with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, shared this statement with ABC11:

“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working to conserve and manage bald eagle and golden eagle populations so that both species continue to thrive.

The Griffon and Golden Eagle Protection Act prohibits disturbing the birds without a permit. To disturb means to cause injury, to interfere with normal breeding, feeding and roosting, or to leave the nest. Penalties for doing so can result in a fine of up to $5,000 or up to a year in prison, or both. The Service has developed a National Bald Eagle Management Plan that helps determine appropriate buffers and distances from certain activities to protect our bald eagle population.

Bald eagle numbers are increasing across the state, showing greater tolerance for human presence and creating new nesting grounds that are closer to development.

This expansion of territories exposes them to human activities more often, and they continue to adapt. We are committed to working with others to continue to advance the conservation and protection of eagles while enabling partners to achieve their operational goals.

We are aware of a bald eagle nest near Refuge 8 in the Ebenezer Day Use Area at Jordan Lake State Park and will continue to work closely with state park partners to adjust management of this eagle nest to ensure adequate protection under federal law. “

Dr. Tinsley is concerned about the park’s proposed monitoring system for eagles, and she shared a transcript of the federal Bald Eagle Protection Act:

“The bald eagle is protected by the Bald Eagle Protection Act, even though it has been delisted under the Endangered Species Act. This law, originally enacted in 1940, provides for the protection of the bald eagle and golden eagle (as amended in 1962) by prohibiting the taking, possession, sale, purchase, barter, offer for sale, purchase or barter, transportation, export or import of any bald eagle or golden eagle, live or dead, including any part, nest, or egg, except as permitted by permit (16 USC 668(a); 50 CFR 22). “Take” includes stalking, shooting, shooting at, poisoning, wounding, killing, seizing, trapping, collecting, molesting, or disturbing (16 USC 668c; 50 CFR 22.3). The 1972 amendments increased the civil penalties for violations of the Act’s provisions to a maximum a fine of $5,000 or imprisonment for one year of $10,000 or imprisonment for not more than two years on a second conviction. two years in prison. The fine for organizing is doubled. Rewards sought for information leading to an arrest and conviction for violating the Act.”

Dr. Tinsley also wrote:

“If John Hammond of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had followed these monitoring guidelines … as he should have, he would have had to order the park to close the gates to Refuge 8, but he didn’t, and now the park system is inviting observers, to be taught by a man who lacks experience with bald eagles.’

We’ll update this story on air and online as we become aware of new developments.

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Conservationists want more protection for bald eagles at Jordan Lake Park

Source link Conservationists want more protection for bald eagles at Jordan Lake Park