BOISE, Idaho – A large swath of private land that was recently protected through a conservation easement provides vital habitat for endangered Aplomado Falcons that have been re-introduced in Texas by The Peregrine Fund.
The Yturria family agreed to protect 7,428 acres along the U.S. border with Mexico that also provides excellent habitat for the endangered ocelot, as well as hundreds of species of birds, reptiles, insects, and a variety of small animals. The Conservation Fund, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Friends of the Wildlife Corridor purchased the easement on a portion of Frank and Mary Yturria’s ranch near the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge.
The easement allows the land to remain in private ownership while keeping the habitat permanently intact.
“We are immensely grateful to the Yturria family for this amazing contribution to the recovery of the Aplomado Falcon,” said J. Peter Jenny, president of The Peregrine Fund.
For 20 years, The Peregrine Fund has spearheaded the recovery project for Aplomado Falcons, which were last sighted in their native Southwest in 1952 before re-introduction began. The Peregrine Fund raised the falcons in captivity at its breeding facility at the World Center for Birds of Prey in Boise, Idaho, and began releasing them to the wild in Texas in 1996. A small, self-sustaining population now thrives along the Gulf Coast of Texas.
“This recovery effort has required a sustained, dedicated effort for two decades and we look forward to the day when the Aplomado Falcon is removed from the Endangered Species List,” Jenny said. “Private land owners like the Yturrias have been essential partners from the very beginning.”
The easement protects a varied habitat consisting of wetlands, coastal prairie, savannah, and scrub brush. Aplomado Falcons need wide-open grasslands to find prey and raise their young. Loss of habitat was a major factor in the decline of Aplomado Falcon populations.
The Peregrine Fund recently ended its captive breeding program for Aplomado Falcons and is now focused on habitat restoration and continuing to closely monitor this recovered population to ensure the falcon’s long-term survival.
|Director of Community Engagement|