Tahoe Institute for Natural Science is holding their annual mid-winter bald eagle count with the help of some volunteers.

The three hour survey allows the institute to find out how many bald eagles are actually around Lake Tahoe and to find out how they are doing. In 1979 there was only two bald eagles in the region, last year when the group did the count they found 27. They believe this increase in population is due to the ban of DDT, Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, which was banned in the United States back in 1972, "It was a pesticide to get rid of insects and it would go into the water system and it would go into the fish and go into the raptors and when they would lay on their eggs it would crack," says Sarah Hockensmith, the Outreach Director for Tahoe Institute for Natural Science.

They also believe it is due to the wide range of food source we have in the region such as fish and rodents. Hockensmith says that we all can do our part to keep these eagles in our region, such as keeping our water clean, "Protecting our water sheds! Those water sheds hold waterfowl where they can have a peaceful winter and those water sheds hold the fish that they eat."

This bald eagle count is once a year but they hold other outings that allow the public see the wildlife in the region, you can find that calender of events here: http://www.tinsweb.org/calendar