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A federal judge has ordered the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to undertake a new, 12-month study to determine whether the desert bald eagle needs continued protection.

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Judge orders eagle study

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decision to take Arizona eagles off endangered species list gets overturned

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service “abused its discretion” when it concluded desert bald eagles no longer need protection under the endangered species act, U.S. District Court Judge David Campbell has concluded. Therefore, the federal judge ordered the agency to undertake a new, 12-month study to determine whether the roughly 50 nesting pairs of bald eagles in Arizona need continued protection, even if bald eagles nationally have fully recovered. The decision represents yet another sharp rejection of the Fish and Wildlife’s procedures, in which officials in Washington, D.C. repeatedly overruled the recommendations of biologists on the scene. The judge concluded that the Fish and Wildlife Service’s action was not “founded on a rational connection between the facts found and the choices made.”

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