- What is it?
The Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (BGEPA), which was enacted in 1940 and amended several times, prohibits anyone, without a permit issued by the Secretary of the Interior, from “taking” bald/golden eagles, including their parts, nests, or eggs.
While the bald eagle was removed from the Federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) list, they are still protected by BGEPA and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA).
The BGEPA is administered by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
- What has the Army done?
The bald eagle can be found on 41 Army installations, and contiguous to 15 more installations. Golden eagles are also found on a number of military installations.
A major difference between BGEPA and the ESA is the Army may make a determination of “not likely to adversely affect” without having to initiate any dialogue with the FWS. However, if the Army determines an action will likely cause a disturbance or "take" of bald or golden eagles, then a permit from FWS is needed.
- What does the Army have planned?
In fiscal year 2011, installations started entering specific data on Bald and Golden Eagle species in the Army Environmental Database - Environmental Quality (AEDB-EQ). This data will be transitioned to the Headquarters Army Environmental System (HQAES). This data helps the Army plan how to best comply with its obligations under BGEPA and perpetuate its role as an active and effective steward of public land while carrying out its military mission. Additionally, the data provides Headquarters, Department of the Army (HQDA) with the necessary information for the Defense Environmental Program Annual Report to Congress (DEPARC).
- Why is this important?
BGEPA provides criminal penalties for persons who “take; possess; sell; purchase; barter; offer to sell, purchase or barter; transport; export or import, at any time or any manner, any bald or golden eagle, alive or dead, or any part, nest or egg thereof.”
BGEPA defines “take” as pursue, shoot, shoot at, poison, wound, kill, capture, trap, collect, molest, or disturb. Disturb means to agitate or bother a bald or golden eagle to a degree that causes, or is likely to cause, based on the best scientific information available, (1) injury to an eagle, (2) a decrease in its productivity, by substantially interfering with normal breeding, feeding, or sheltering behavior, or (3) nest abandonment, by substantially interfering with normal breeding, feeding, or sheltering behavior.
- Army Guidance and Regulations
- Army Guidance on Critical Habitat - January 2006 (95.5kb PDF)
- Army Policy and Guidance on Critical Habitat Designations (101kb PDF)
- Draft Recovery Credit Guidance — November 2007
- Emergency Consultations under the Endangered Species Act (40.6kb PDF)
- Endangered Species Recovery Credits Qs and As
Bald and Golden Eagle
- 50 CFR Part 22 Protection of Eagles; Definition of "Disturb" 6-5-07
- Eagle Take Authorization Proposed 6-5-07
- Bald Eagle Management Guidelines
- Questions and Answers for Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act Actions
- Army Policy Guidance on Migratory Bird Treaty Act 2001 (25.5kb PDF)
- Supplemental Army Policy Guidance on Migratory Bird Treaty Act 2002 (28.8kb PDF)
- Bird Species to which the MBTA does not apply
- EO 13186 — Migratory Birds 2001
- EO 13186 MOU FWS — DoD August 2006
- FWS' Migratory Bird Permit Policies & Regulations
- List of Migratory Birds
- MBTA/DoD Rule February 2007
- Removal of Migratory Birds from Buildings
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