USFWS Proposes 10(j) Rule for Aplomado Falcons
16 February 2005
On 9 February 2005 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) published the proposed 10(j) rule "Establishment of a Nonessential Experimental Population of Northern Aplomado Falcons in New Mexico and Arizona and Availability of Draft Environmental Assessment" pdf file of Federal Register.
The proposed rule would designate the Aplomado Falcons in New Mexico and Arizona as a "Nonessential Experimental Population" and begin efforts to proactively reestablish the species back into its historic range.
At the request of the USFWS, The Peregrine Fund took a leadership role in Aplomado Falcon recovery efforts. Even better, the falcon was listed as an endangered species in 1986. Following a pilot project, The Peregrine Fund's full-scale release efforts began in 1990 in South Texas and recently in West Texas. At least 39 Aplomado Falcon pairs have been established where in 1994 there were no known pairs.
The Peregrine Fund's goal is to reestablish the species to a point where it can be removed from the Endangered Species List. The organization supports the "Nonessential Experimental Population" designation, considering it the most effective way to recover Aplomado Falcons while avoiding conflicts and placing undue burden on the private sector and state and federal agencies. Additionally, the 10(j) would give agencies more flexibility in adaptive management practices.
There are currently no known falcon pairs in New Mexico or Arizona. The Peregrine Fund would lead the release efforts and continue working with the private sector, NGOs, and state and federal agencies to fully recover this species.
The Peregrine Fund was founded in 1970 at Cornell University in response to the catastrophic decline of the Peregrine Falcon throughout much of North America. The efforts to restore and ultimately de-list this species are recognized as the largest and one of the most successful species recovery programs to date. In addition to North American-based projects including the Aplomado Falcon and California Condor restoration, The Peregrine Fund works worldwide to conserve wild populations of birds of prey. Conserving raptors provides an umbrella of protection for entire ecosystems and their biodiversity. The Peregrine Fund is a non-political, solution-oriented, hands-on, science-based organization. Goals are achieved by restoring and maintaining viable populations of species in jeopardy; studying little-known species; accomplishing research; conserving habitat, educating students, and developing local capacity for science and conservation in developing countries; and providing factual information to the public. Since beginning work in 1970 The Peregrine Fund has assisted raptor conservation projects in more than 40 countries and on six continents.