The Peregrine Falcon was one of the first birds to be placed on California’s Endangered Species List. In 1970, the population in the state was listed at just five pairs. The cause of this dramatic decline was primarily the same as for the bald eagle – ingesting prey contaminated by DDT. The now-banned insecticide greatly weakened the birds' shells, resulting in the eggs being crushed during incubation.
Under the protection of the Endangered Species List designation, the Peregrine Falcon has staged a remarkable recovery. Thanks to the combined efforts of combined efforts of dedicated non-profit groups, as well as efforts by state and federal agencies, there are more than 300 active breeding sites in 2008.
Following the filing of a petition to delist the Falcon, Audubon California in June of 2008 convened a forum of Peregrine Falcon experts to discuss the issue. Based on this forum, coupled with our own independent analysis, a strong scientific case exists for the delisting of this subspecies. Audubon supports the delisting, provided that subsequent follow-up activities are built into the decision to ensure that population monitoring remains a part of the ongoing peregrine management effort.
We will continue to pressure state and federal agencies to monitor the progress of the Peregrine Falcon to ensure that the bird’s progress continues.
At left are Audubon California’s communications to the California Department of Fish and Game regarding the proposed delisting of the Peregrine Falcon.
How you can help, right now
Get Audubon in Your Inbox
Audubon California Newsletter comes to your inbox monthly with breaking news and important conservation updates from our state.