The Pennsylvania Game Commission could vote to remove bald eagles from the state’s list of “threatened” species this fall.
The commission says Wednesday that its Bureau of Wildlife Management is recommending the birds be upgraded to “protected” status because their numbers, and the number of places they can be found in the state, have been steadily increasing.
Bureau biologist Doug Gross says 266 nesting pairs have been confirmed so far this year. Researchers found 237 pairs last year.
The birds can be taken off the “threatened list” if four criteria are met: There must be 150 active nests statewide; successful pairs in at least 40 of the state’s 67 counties; a 60 percent success rate of known nests; and an average of at least 1.2 eaglets fledged in each successful nest.
Nest success is still being calculated.