Number of the Day: 282

NJ Spotlight | June 16, 2010

For those that think our national symbol only soars above northern states such as Alaska and Maine—think again. The Garden State is home to 282 bald eagles, primarily through the efforts of the state Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Endangered and Nongame Species Program. Participating biologists and volunteers have been fostering and monitoring bald eagles since the state passed the Endangered Species Conservation Act in 1973. At that time, there was only one nesting pair of eagles producing eggs, which were too thin withstand normal incubation. The eggs were removed and fostered until the nestlings could be moved back to the wild. The program has steadily increased the eagle population. In 2009, the program identified 84 nesting pairs (up from 69 in 2008), which produced 99 eaglets. Although most of the eagles reside along the Delaware Bay in Cumberland and Salem counties, bald eagles can be found statewide. Forty-two call northern New Jersey home, while 240 bald eagles nest in the south.