Commentary: Save The Species But Add Incentives

It looks good on the back of the quarter or the dollar bill, but the bald eagle isn't an animal you would like to meet face-to-face. It's a fierce predator, with a six- to eight-foot wingspan, razor-sharp talons, and pale, menacing eyes. In 1782, when the bald eagle became the American symbol, it ruled the skies--25,000 to 75,000 patrolled what would become the lower 48 states. By the early 1960s, however, fewer than 450 nesting pairs remained. Defenseless against human predators, the bald eagle was approaching extinction.

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