Adopt a Species to give the perfect gift to the conservationist in your life — even if the conservationist is you.
When the bald eagle was chosen as the United States' national symbol in 1782, there were an estimated 25,000 to 75,000 of these birds nesting in the lower 48 states. Illegal shooting, habitat destruction, lead poisoning and the catastrophic effects of the pesticide DDT reduced eagle numbers to just 417 pairs by 1963. In 1967, the bald eagle was declared an endangered species.
With legal protection and reintroduction programs, the species rebounded. Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that there are more than 7,000 breeding bald eagle pairs. When you symbolically adopt an animal, you support Friends of the National Zoo in its efforts to help the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute save species.