Following the successful recovery of the Peregrine Falcon, our focus shifted to other birds of prey on the U.S. Endangered Species List. For more than 20 years, recovery projects for the California Condor and Aplomado Falcon have involved captive breeding, releases to the wild, and research related to the biology of these species to ensure their continued existence in the wild. Other short-term and long-term projects are conducted as needed when environmental problems are suspected or a species appears to be in decline.
Conservation in the Neotropics – from southern Mexico to Argentina and including the Caribbean Islands -- is a global priority because of the high diversity of species found there and the rapid rate of habitat loss. About one-third of the world’s birds of prey occur in the Neotropics. Central America and the Caribbean are particularly important because of the limited extent of remaining forest, high proportion of biodiversity, and the large number of migrating birds that winter there. This program encompasses projects related to conservation, research and restoration of several birds of prey and the science and student programs.
Birds of prey in Africa are threatened by the environmental impacts of rapid human population growth and loss of habitat. Scavenging birds also are declining due to the indiscriminate use of poisons such as carbofuran. In Madagascar, the amazing diversity of endemic species makes this island nation one of the world’s highest conservation priorities. This program aims to gain knowledge that will support scientifically sound conservation policies. Building local capacity for conservation and research is accomplished with financial support, training, and education to African students seeking advanced degrees.
The Philippine Eagle is threatened by burgeoning human populations, deforestation, environmental deterioration, and human persecution, particularly shooting. This program provides assistance, advice and support to the Philippine Eagle Foundation for captive breeding and release, field research and monitoring, public conservation education, and community-based initiatives to conserve and restore eagle habitats. In South Asia, a veterinary drug has caused some vulture populations there to drop by up to 99 percent. The program focuses on scientific research and surveys to assist vulture recovery.