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Celebration of Bald Eagle Recovery Day Friday at State Fair

Gov. Tim Pawlenty has officially proclaimed Aug. 31 as Bald Eagle recovery day in Minnesota. Because of the successful recovery of the Bald Eagle in the U.S., it has been removed from the endangered species list.

A ceremony to celebrate this success is planned for 10:30 a.m. Friday at the DNR Volunteer Outdoor Stage at the Minnesota State Fair. The governor; Mark Holsten, DNR commissioner; U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar and State Sen. Ellen Anderson plan to attend.

Bald Eagle populations declined due to pollution, habitat loss, and illegal killing in the early 1900s and through the 1960s.

Recovery efforts were accomplished with help from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the DNR, the Raptor Center of the University of Minnesota, U.S. Forest Service, Audubon Minnesota and National Bald Eagle Center.

Healthy sustainable population levels were achieved through habitat protection, nest site management, public education, rehabilitation of injured eagles, protection of wintering areas, protection from illegal killing, and the elimination of the use of pesticides.

In 1960, there were fewer than 40 nesting pairs of Bald Eagles in Minnesota and the recovery goal was 300 nesting pairs.

As of 2005, there are more than 1,300 pairs of nesting Bald Eagles, which could mean the total Bald Eagle population may be more than 6,000 in Minnesota.