Bald Eagle Management
On April 20th, 2017, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission approved revisions to the state’s bald eagle rule (68A-16.002, F.A.C.). The approved rule revisions became effective in June, 2017, and eliminate the need for applicants to obtain both a state and federal permit for activities with the potential to take or disturb bald eagles or their nests. Under the approved revisions, only a federal permit is required. For permitting guidance, please see FWC’s eagle permit webpage.
The bald eagle, our national bird and a symbol of the United States, is a conservation success story. Today, Florida, has one of the densest concentrations of nesting bald eagles in the lower 48 states. While no longer listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act or the Florida Endangered and Threatened Species rules, bald eagles remain protected by both the state eagle rule (68A-16.002, F.A.C.) and federal law.
In November, 2017, FWC staff completed the Species Action Plan for the Bald Eagle. This plan replaces the 2008 Bald Eagle Management Plan. A non-regulatory conservation plan, the Species Action Plan outlines actions necessary to continue to maintain a stable or increasing population of bald eagles in Florida. The Species Action Plan will be reviewed at 7 year intervals, and progress towards actions will be updated on the FWC eagle webpages and through annual reports.
To report a new or previously undocumented bald eagle nest, email the nest location and available photos of the nest to BaldEagle@MyFWC.com.
For the safest and least intrusive viewing experience, please follow Eagle Watching Etiquette when observing or photographing eagles.
Federal Guidelines for Activities near Nesting Bald Eagles: A self-guided key that allows you to determine if activities are likely to disturb eagles and whether a federal permit is needed. Federal permits are always required for removal of a bald eagle nest.
FWC Eagle Nest Monitoring Reports: FWC’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute surveys bald eagle nesting territories in Florida. Data collected are used to determine the statewide breeding population size and trends. The data is available in annual reports and in an FWRI published paper, Status of the bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) breeding population in Florida, 2009-2014.
Volunteer your time to help monitor eagles: Audubon of Florida’s Eagle Watch program is a volunteer citizen-science group that conducts annual nest monitoring. Call 407-644-0190 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to participate.