BEND, Ore. (AP) — Bald eagle numbers are rebounding in Oregon so strongly the bird could come off the state's list of threatened species.
The national symbol has made a comeback in recent decades largely because the chemical DDT was banned.
The pesticide caused bald eagle eggs to be so thin they crumbled during incubation.
The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission is meeting Friday to act on a proposal to delist the bald eagle, the Bulletin in Bend reported.
A study shows the number of breeding pairs increased over three decades from 65 to nearly 500 in 2007, and it could double or triple from there.
"The science is great behind it, and that is really what we are acting upon," said Marvin Nugent, coordinator of threatened and endangered species at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The federal government in 2007 took a similar step.
Once delisted, the bald eagle will still be under the protections of the Bald and Golden Eagle Act and the migratory bird act, which outlaw the killing or disturbing of eagles except by permit.
An environmentalist says the delisting makes sense.
"It's a success story," said Bob Sallinger, conservation director for the Audubon Society of Portland. "It shows that the Endangered Species Act does work."
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the bald eagle as threatened in Oregon in 1978 and the state followed suit in 1987, the same year lawmakers created the Oregon Endangered Species Act.
Sallinger said research is needed to determine what's behind the decline in a related species, the golden eagles, which nest mostly on rocky crags and cliffs and isn't listed for protection by either state or federal wildlife managers.
Among the concerns for golden eagles are deaths caused by wind turbines and nests disturbed by climbers.
Information from: The Bulletin, http://www.bendbulletin.com
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.