Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Peregrine Falcons available for falconers?

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service recently posted a draft of a plan that would allow falconers to capture migrant first-year "northern" Peregrine Falcons (Falco peregrinus tundrius) from the wild. The service seeks public comment on the draft until Feb. 11, 2008.

In a press release, Service Director Dale Hall said,

"A few decades ago, the peregrine falcon in North America was on the verge of extinction due largely to the effects of DDT, which affected both the American and Arctic peregrine falcon subspecies. We recognize that falconers have long sought protection of wild raptor populations and played a significant role in the species' comeback. They were among the first to report the decline in peregrine populations and, in fact, contributed peregrines held for falconry to captive propagation efforts. Now that peregrine populations are healthy, the Service is considering once again allowing the traditional capture of migrant peregrine falcons for use in falconry."
You can read the draft here.

Peregrine Falcon courtesy of Steve Maslowski/U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

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