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Roaring River Eagle Refuge                    

Welcome to Roaring River. The Roaring River Eagle Refuge is a 3,000-acre area straddling the Roaring River and two of its tributaries, the West Fork and the Roaring Fork. Established in 1972 shortly before the Endangered Species Act was passed, the Eagle Refuge is one of a number of wildlife areas set aside to foster recovery of the area's bald eagles.

Population Decline

The bald eagle's historical range included almost the entire North American continent, excluding central and southern Mexico and northern Alaska and Canada. By the middle of the twentieth century, eagle populations had begun to decline as a result of decline in their prey species, loss of habitat, and direct killing of eagles.

The Bald Eagle Protection Act, passed in 1940, made it illegal to kill, harm, harass, or possess bald eagles, alive or dead, including eggs, feathers, and nests. This Act encouraged some recovery of eagle populations.

But widespread use of the pesticide DDT to control mosquitoes in coastal and wetland areas favored by eagles had a drastic effect on eagles. Foraging on contaminated food caused a buildup of DDT byproducts that prevented female eagles from producing strong egg shells. Eagle populations plummeted.

In 1967, the Secretary of the Interior listed bald eagle populations south of the 40th parallel as endangered. Eagle populations continued to decline, however, until DDT was banned in the United States at the end of 1972.

Recovery

Since its listing as an endangered species, bald eagle populations have increased as a result of recovery plans and strict enforcement of the Endangered Species Act. The Roaring River Eagle Refuge is proud to be a part of a recovery so miraculous that eagles have now been removed from the endangered list.

Here at the Eagle Refuge, we play a part in educating the public as well as preserving the bald eagle's natural habitat. We encourage you to visit us to learn more about these magnificent birds.