Eagles – Too much of a good thing?

eagleMarkEIn this month’s Nova Scotia naturally column, Mark Elderkin asks whether our feeding bald eagles during the winter has been overly successful in helping this species to recover from its precipitous decline between 1940 and 1960. “About 100 breeding pairs of bald eagles were shared between Maine, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island in 1980. Today, the number of breeding pairs for these same jurisdictions is well over 1,100. This does not include the hundreds of non-breeding eagles that now summer along our coastal shores…Evidence suggests eagles are now impacting seabird colonies and are being negatively affected by secondary lead poisoning from harvested big game byproducts thrown out by meat cutters. Winter feeding also causes unnaturally high concentrations of wildlife, including coyotes, which increases the potential risks for conflicts with people.” Read more

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