SAN BERNARDINO (CBSLA) — The bald eagle is no longer an endangered species, and because its population in the San Bernardino National Forest has been stable for years, the U.S. Forest Service says it is ending the yearly effort to count their numbers after 40 years.

The annual bald eagle census effort had been conducted during the winter at three sites in the San Bernardino National Forest for the past 40 years.

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“While it was a difficult decision to end this long-running program, the census is no longer needed from a scientific standpoint,” Marc Stamer, mountaintop district ranger, said in a statement. He says the Forest Service will shift focus on the bald eagle by working to provide opportunities for the public to see the majestic creatures in their natural habitat.

(credit: U.S. Forest Service)

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The bald eagle, which is the U.S. national bird and appears on its official seal, had been delisted under the Endangered Species Act in 2007, but San Bernardino National Forest officials continued counting them with help from citizen watchers.

Earlier this year, two eggs in a Big Bear tree riveted viewers online. Both chicks hatched before a nest webcam from the Friends of the Big Bear Valley.

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But chicks in the San Bernardino National Forest still face threats other than the use of the pesticide DDT that first threatened the population. Bald eagles are sensitive to human interference during the nesting season and may abandon the next if they feel threatened.