MSRP’s 10 Year Anniversary: Bringing the Bald Eagle Back to the Channel Islands

Bald eagle landing on a nest in the Channel IslandsDid you know that the DDT pollution off the coast of Southern California affects other animals, in addition to fish and the humans who consume the contaminated fish?  Bald eagles nesting on the Channel Islands have been heavily affected.  In the middle of the 20th century, bald eagles began to lay thin-shelled eggs that did not successfully hatch.  The bird disappeared from the islands by the early 1960s.

FCEC’s partner, Montrose Settlements Restoration Program (MSRP) has focused on bringing America’s national bird back to the Channel Islands.  MSRP celebrates its ten-year anniversary this year and the program’s staff has a lot to share about the success of their Bald Eagle restoration project–an effort which has existed even before MSRP’s official establishment.

Biologists began efforts to reintroduce the bald eagle to the Channel Islands in 1980, starting with Catalina Island.  Bald eagles were then reintroduced to Santa Cruz Island, one of the Northern Channel Islands, in 2002, following a study conducted by MSRP.  By 2006, the program had its first successful breeding on the Northern Channel Islands.  Today, Bald Eagles on the islands are breeding without the help of humans and their chicks are growing up healthy enough to leave their nests.

To celebrate the program’s success and its ten-year anniversary, MSRP has released a short film that chronicles the bald eagle’s recovery, titled “Return Flight: Restoring the Bald Eagle to the Channel Islands”.  Watch this amazing and educational film, and let us know which part you particularly liked by leaving a comment below.

Tags: ,

Posted in Contamination, Partners

  • Gabrielle

    Thanks for posting the film on your blog FCEC!  I have probably seen the film about 20 times now but I still get emotional when Dave Garcelon, the Director of Institute for Wildlife Studies, expresses his emotions about seeing the first chick that hatched naturally in 2006 on Santa Cruz Island after more than 20 years of restoration efforts. This film offers hope for the bald eagle! 

  • FCEC

    Thanks Gabrielle for your comment!  We truly loved the video and were happy to share it on our blog.  There were a lot of emotional moments; one of our favorites was at the end when the bald eagle took flight; it’s a great moment that really symbolizes the success of the program. :)  Congratulations to you all!

  • FCEC’s 2011 Strategic Planning Meeting Update | Fish Contamination Education Collaborative (FCEC)

    [...] Settlements Restoration Program [MSRP]) spoke about MSRP’s past year successes, including bald eagle triplets hatching among the Channel Islands. Marita Santos (Los Angeles County Public Health) took [...]