Local students educating others about bald eagle poisonings

Some local students are using their voices to educate others about the bald eagle poisonings that have happened in Maryland. In the past 10 years, 30 bald eagles have died as a result of poisoning by carbofuran, a banned and toxic pesticide. There is a long history of these poisonings in Maryland that goes back decades.

Safe Skies Maryland, a conservation initiative focused on human-caused bird mortality issues, will be introducing a bill during the current legislative session which aims to make the possession of carbofuran illegal in Maryland. While carbofuran was fully banned by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2009, there was never a law that banned the possession of it. According to retired U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Special Agent Frank Kuncir, who investigated these poisoning cases for years, such a law would help. Kuncir’s work led to the EPA’s ban of carbofuran. He assisted Beth Decker, executive director of Safe Skies Maryland, drafting the Carbofuran Loophole Bill that will be presented to Maryland legislators.

Following a talk I gave to a group of local Girl Scouts about the eagle poisonings in October, 8-year-old Xaviana Leis of Edgewater created the following presentation.

In December, I was contacted by the Destination Imagination team from North Salisbury Elementary School. They read about the poisonings on the internet, found me and asked if I could Skype with them so they could learn more about the issue.

Following the Skype session, the team created a presentation, which they’re now sharing in their community. The team consists of Liam Wolff, 9, River Taylor-Davidson, 10, Apeksha Agarwal, 10, and Kyle Hammond, 10. I was able to join the team at the Wicomico Public Library in downtown Salisbury on Saturday as they began educating others about the carbofuran issue – one of the poisoning cases killed 13 eagles just 30 miles away from the library.

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