Forty years ago, pesticides and hunting had slashed the number of bald eagle breeding pairs in the lower 48 states to less than 500. Today, with the population soaring to 7500 pairs, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is mulling whether to remove the species from the protected list. This federal site holds newly posted data from annual midwinter bald eagle surveys from 1986 through 2000. Summary charts show that although most states saw rising eagle numbers during this time, a few, such as Alabama and Colorado, recorded declines.