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Wild CapitalNature's Economic and Ecological Wealth$
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Barbara K. Jones

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781683401049

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9781683401049.001.0001

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America’s Iconic Bald Eagle

America’s Iconic Bald Eagle

(p.197) 8 America’s Iconic Bald Eagle
Wild Capital

Barbara K. Jones

University Press of Florida

Bald eagles have returned from the brink of extinction and today serve as a reminder to our collective memory of not only what we can do to destroy a species, but what we can learn from its near loss. In our environmental ignorance, we almost lost the symbol of our identity as Americans and replaced it with a value system that saw our dominion over nature as a legitimate and proper role for mankind. Today, we more readily appreciate that our well-being is closely tied to that of nature and without intact ecosystems we all lose. Our willingness to pay to maintain populations of bald eagles is an important tool for assigning this charismatic bird value. Bald eagles now soar in places as varied as the rivers of Alaska to the highly developed coastline of the Chesapeake Bay, but in both locations, their presence reminds us of what we could have lost if we allowed the bald eagle to “blink out” and what we have gained from their conservation success.

Keywords:   Bald eagle, Extinction, Collective memory, Conservation, Identity, Willingness to pay, Ecosystems, Populations

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