NBC Fears for Bald Eagle Despite Population Increase

      The bald eagle has flourished since it was put on the endangered species list, but now that the bird was removed from the list NBC “Nightly News” found a downside.


     “[Nationwide resurgence of the eagle] is not the end of the story. Now the question is will man maintain the eagle’s habitat or will the eagles adapt to man,” said chief environmental affairs correspondent Anne Thompson on June 28.


     Quoting biologist Bryan D. Watts, "Nightly News" condemned urban sprawl and compared it to DDT - which was banned in 1972.


     “Urban sprawl has become the DDT of our generation,” Watts said. The pesticide DDT was blamed for the decline of the bald eagle population that initially put the bird on the endangered list.


     Watts, director of William and Mary’s Center for Conservation Biology, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that “you hate for a species to be at the whim of market pressures.”


     “If we don’t be proactive, we’ll see a reversal in the population within the next 20 years,” Watts added without explained what “proactive” meant.


     Watts wants to see Virginia protect “a lot more land” from private development according to Times-Dispatch. No land developers were included in the NBC report.


     The bald eagle has rebounded from only 417 breeding pairs in 1967 to about 10,000 pairs presently – nearly 24 times, according to the Washington Post.


     NBC promoted Watt’s view that coastal real estate will equal disaster for the bald eagle without mentioning the successful cohabitation of bird and man in the nation’s sixth largest city, Philadelphia.