Lifestyle Pets American Bald Eagles Come Back from Near Extinction, Have Quadrupled Their Numbers Since 2009 The American bald eagle population grew to 316,700 birds and 71,400 nesting pairs in the lower 48 states during the 2019 breeding season, according to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service report. By Nicholas Rice Nicholas Rice Instagram Twitter Nicholas Rice is an Associate Editor for PEOPLE Magazine. He began working with the brand as an Editorial Intern in early 2020, before later transitioning to a freelance role, and then staff positions soon after. Nicholas writes and edits anywhere between 7 to 9 stories per day on average for PEOPLE, spanning across each vertical the brand covers. Nicholas has previous work experience with Billboard, POPSUGAR, Bustle and Elite Daily. When not working, Nicholas can be found playing with his 5 dogs, listening to pop music or eating mozzarella sticks. People Editorial Guidelines Published on March 25, 2021 04:17 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Some good news! The American bald eagle is making a strong comeback. The bird, which was once listed on the endangered species list, has seen its numbers quadruple since 2009, according to a recent report by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The species grew to 316,700 birds and 71,400 nesting pairs in the lower 48 states during the 2019 breeding season, per the report. American bald eagles were previously removed from the list of threatened or endangered species in 2007, the Associated Press reported. They are also now protected under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, CNN added. 'Lucky' Symmetrical Shot of Bald Eagle Perfectly Reflected in Pond Stuns the Internet Jesse Wild/Digital Camera magazine via Getty "Today's announcement is truly a historic conservation success story. Announcements like ours today give me hope," U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland said in a statement. "I believe that we have the opportunity of a lifetime to protect our environment and our way of life for generations to come." "But we will only accomplish great things if we work together," she added. Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. In a statement to the AP, Haaland also said, "the bald eagle population continues to thrive" and called the animal's reemergence a "success story [that] is a testament to the enduring importance of the work of the Interior Department scientists and conservationists." "This work could not have been done without teams of people collecting and analyzing decades' worth of science ... accurately estimating the bald eagle population here in the United States," she added to the outlet. RELATED VIDEO: Group Rescues Eagle Caught by Octopus American bald eagle populations had previously declined at a severe rate from 1870 to 1970, CNN reported. The animal's population continued to decrease over the years due to hunting, habitat loss, and the use of pesticides with DDT, the outlet adds. DDT.