COLUMBUS (WKBN) – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources had some good news to share with Ohioans on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.
Between February and March, ODNR asked for the public’s help locating every bald eagle nest in the state.
With the help of nearly 2,500 nest reports submitted by Ohioans, ODNR was able to confirm 707 bald eagle nests in 85 of the state’s 88 counties.
In 1979, Ohio’s bald eagle population consisted of only four nesting pairs. The species was listed as endangered on both state and national levels.
“Thanks to an intensive bald eagle conservation program that included habitat acquisition and protection, partnerships with Ohio’s zoos and wildlife rehabilitation facilities, increased public awareness and the national removal of DDT as an insecticide, Ohio’s bald eagle population has rather dramatically increased,” said Governor Mike DeWine during his Wednesday press conference.
ODNR said identifying all of the nests in Ohio has not been done since 2012, when bald eagles were delisted from Ohio’s list of endangered and threatened animals.
At the time, there were 281 nests confirmed in Ohio, showing a 151% increase since then.
“The bald eagle, of course, is a symbol of American strength, resilience and the eagle’s comeback in Ohio and across the country proves that we can overcome any challenges when we work together,” DeWine said.
ODNR also broke down the number of bald eagle nests by county.
Ottawa County had the most with 90 nests, which is up from 46 reported in 2012.
Trumbull County ranked fourth with 26 nests, which is up from nine reported in 2012.
Mahoning County has seven nests and Columbiana County has four nests.