The symbol of the United States, the stately Bald Eagle, was de-listed as "endangered" this week. The large bird now has an estimated 10,000 breeding pairs in the lower 48 states, and will be monitored for the next five years to ensure it doesn't need to be put back on the list.
The bald eagle is just one of many formerly endangered animals being de-listed, to the consternation of many conservationists. The Department of the Interior issued a new interpretation of the Endangered Species Act in March that basically said no animal is "endangered" if any population of it thrives in any part of the United States.
The Center for Biological Diversity estimates that as many as 80 percent of endangered species will be de-listed under the new interpretation of the act. Fortunately for the Bald Eagle, it's still protected under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act ... for now.