The Bald Magnificence, The Plight of The Eagle

The Deciduous Forest of the Greater Toronto Area and surrounding region only makes up three percent of Ontario’s Forest Zone and due to the fact that it’s located in the fastest growing region of the country and the province, as well as the increasing development can convey how it’s the most endangered type of forest. One of the animals that are greatly threatened by the development of The Southern Ontario Deciduous Forest Zone, especially with growing urbanization around the great lakes region, is the Bald Eagle, which once was an abundant in numbers through out the region of the Greater Toronto Area, has become an extremely rare sight and  often only locates it’s habitat in the more rural and heavily forested townships towards the northern outskirts of the Deciduous Zone. 

Whats Impacting The Bald Eagle

So, what circumstances have impacted the eagle’s habitat to virtual extinction, throughout much of the Deciduous region. One of the verified elements to this extinction equation that has impacted the eagle’s appearance in the GTA so greatly, is the fragmentation of vast naturalized Forests combined with Savannah habitat within the Deciduous region. With the creation of residential subdivisions, roads, parking lots and commercial uses have greatly divided naturalized expanses, which eagles often need to fly over for sources of common prey.  Another aspect that has greatly impacted the health of the Eagle in urban environments relates to the pesticide known as DDT. Fifty years ago, the use of the pesticide DDT created runoffs and the release of other chemicals, which impacted waterways, greatly reduced the number of eagles in urban environments. Significant increases in the amount of chemicals in the waterways have limited the numbers of eagles being able to use the Greater Toronto Area Waterways for habitat. 

Furthermore, the significant boom of condo developments, especially along the corridor of Yonge Street, The Lakeshore and other very popular downtown spots in commercial and business districts  have increased, interrupting the flying zones for eagles, especially with the need to search for food and habitat, altering this necessary flying zone near major waterways for eagles, will greatly impact their numbers. When animals become disturbed in their natural patterns, they often will retreat from an area for fear of potential threats to their young or themselves. Other significant impacts rapid development has played in the plight of the bald eagle is suitable habitat the bald eagle requires. Disturbed ranges surrounding its ideal nesting spots near waterways, adding increased size in population causing urbanization and increasing amounts of unidentifiable sounds for the Eagle have many are believed to be pushing the Eagle more northward, to find quite, long-range spaces to locate a more prosperous habitat, as Giant Skyscrapers become more part of the GTA skyline, especially closer towards the Lakeshore area. So, its relatively likely increased amounts of of activity from transport and other human related causes activities have likely been the reasons why The Eagle will remain an almost impossible site below finch avenue or below the border of highway seven, going through Richmond Hill.

The Practical

The only method that could practically restore the eagles ability to grow and thrive in urban areas again would have to be a combination of land management and the effort to create a naturalize habitat. Taking land currently used for industrial and commercial spaces and converting it into networks of suitable savannah grasslands as well as suitable nesting habitat would be helpful to restoring biodiversity needed to provide sustainable food sources for the Bald Eagle. Coupled with planting expansive woodlots for more canopy cover can also contribute to the needed forestation range the Eagle needs. Any attempt to encourage the return of The Eagle population will have be implemented over a long period of time, as the species will need to establish these created havens and networks as suitable and safe for their habitat, and time will also be needed to ensure humans won’t be a very present threat to their way of life. Maybe with more trees and habitat, over time we will once again see the Eagle as part of the urban canopy.

– Mr. V

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