⚫ A rule proposal seeks to remove animals from the state's endangered species list

⚫ NJ is taking public comment on the proposal until early August

⚫ Experts say population recovery efforts have paid off

The survival of certain birds of prey is no longer in jeopardy in New Jersey, according to a proposal made Monday by Gov. Phil Murphy's administration.

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Shawn LaTourette says they're looking to remove the bald eagle and osprey from the state's list of endangered species.

Eagle and osprey numbers in NJ

According to the DEP, bald eagles can be found "in virtually every area of the state." In the early 1980s, New Jersey was home to just one bald eagle nest, in Cumberland County. Last year, the state recorded 267 nesting pairs of bald eagles.


Their population numbers had been decimated by the hazardous insecticide DDT and other threats, such as human disturbances. But efforts to bring the numbers back up have made a difference, starting with the reintroduction of eagles from Canada decades ago.

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The bald eagle was removed from the federal government's list of endangered species in 2007.

In the early 1970s, the number of osprey nests in new Jersey was down to about 50, as another side effect of DDT use. In 2023, biologists documented 800 occupied osprey nests in the state.

"Because of their efforts, people across the state today can thrill at the sight of bald eagles gliding above their massive tree-top nests or ospreys diving into a coastal creek to snare a fish," LaTourette said.

Under the de-listing proposal published in the New Jersey Register, ospreys would be listed as "stable," and the bald eagle status would be changed to "species of special concern."

The DEP is taking public comment on the rule proposal through Aug. 2.

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