Dec 5, 2012 10:17 AM
PHOENIX (AP) - Land and wildlife managers are enacting seasonal closures around the state to protect breeding bald eagles.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department says the closures extend to 21 areas, many of which are near rivers and lakes that are popular recreation spots.
Bald eagles were listed federally as an endangered species in 1978. The birds recovered to the point they could be removed from the list in 2007.
Kenneth Jacobson of Game and Fish says the birds are doing well in Arizona, but they're sensitive to human activity. Bald eagles begin rebuilding nests in December to prepare for laying eggs.
Jacobson says the willingness of recreationists to stay clear of the eagles' breeding areas has helped the population grow.
Arizona has 55 breeding pairs of bald eagles.