Did 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: bald eagle, Montrose Settlements Restoration Program