Idaho Announces Intent to Remove Peregrine Falcon from Idaho Endangered Species List on 10-Year Anniversary of Federal Delisting
20 August 2009The Idaho Department of Fish and Game's announcement that it is taking steps to remove the Peregrine Falcon from the state list of threatened and endangered species comes exactly 10 years after the raptor was delisted at the federal level.
"We think the bird is suffficiently recovered to warrant reclassification from a state threatened species to a protected nongame migratory bird," said Fish and Game biologist Rex Sallabanks. "We also felt that since the bird had been delisted at the federal level 10 years ago, it was time to bring the state of Idaho in line with the federal classification. This opens the door for legislative approval at the next session in 2010."
Ten years ago--20 August 1999--an international crowd gathered at The Peregrine Fund's World Center for Birds of Prey to celebrate the falcon's removal from the U.S. Endangered Species List. The Peregrine Fund was established in 1970 to help recover the raptor, which had disappeared entirely from the eastern United States and was in serious decline in the West due to the effects of the pesticide DDT.
"We are proud to be part of this unprecedented conservation success," said J. Peter Jenny, president and CEO of The Peregrine Fund. "This is further proof that, with dedication and commitment, an endangered species can be pulled back from the brink of extinction. Each delisting allows limited resources to be focused on other species that really need our help."
At its July meeting in McCall, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission promulgated the department's proposal to reclassify the state bird from "state threatened" to "protected nongame." If approved by the Legislature, the new rule will become effective in the spring of 2010.
Idaho's most famous Peregrine Falcons nested this spring atop the One Capital Center in downtown Boise. People all over the world watched this year for the first time via a webcam as a pair of adults raised three chicks.
There are currently some 42 known nesting locations for Peregrine Falcons in Idaho. Fish and Game monitored 23 occupied nests last year and documented 41 chicks that successfully hatched and fledged.
Peregrine Falcons were essentially gone from Idaho about 40 years ago when DDT was decimating raptors throughout the United States. The pesticide was banned and captive-bred birds were released to the wild. From 1982 to 1995, The Peregrine Fund and state and federal partners released 188 captive-produced falcons to the wild at 15 Idaho locations. Idaho Fish and Game made additional releases through the years. Now, wild Peregrine Falcons are found around the state.
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