Eagles Soar, Bears Stagger

Things are never quiet on the endangered-species list a current membership of 1,176 animals and 747 plants. As 2007 dawns, two iconic species--the polar bear and the bald eagle--are moving in opposite directions in the fight for survival.

Last month the U.S. proposed designating the polar bear as threatened, after starvation and drownings caused by melting sea ice helped cut the animal's global population to fewer than 25,000. By contrast, this year could spell the bald eagle's release from an almost 40-year stay on the list. Elimination of the pesticide DDT and crackdowns on hunting and development have allowed the national bird...

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