Peregrine Falcon

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Peregrine Falcon

  • Considered a federally endangered species from 1970 to 1999, when conservation efforts led to its delisting.
  • Peregrine falcons thrived when reintroduced into urban areas where tall buildings mimic cliff faces.
  • They are the world’s fastest animal, reaching speeds up to 200 mph.

The Need for Management

In the 1960s, peregrine falcons had completely disappeared from the eastern United States, including Michigan. Their population decline was mainly caused by the pesticide DDT. The chemical would build up in their body and cause the eggshells of their young to weaken, making reproduction very difficult.

Management Results

In 1970, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the falcon as a federally endangered species. Thanks to restoration efforts, the peregrine falcon was removed from the endangered species list in 1999. Its population rebound is largely attributed to regulated pesticide use and reintroduction efforts in the late 1980s in cities such as Detroit and Grand Rapids. Through the sale of hunting licenses, funding is provided to directly aid in the management of peregrine falcon efforts now and into the future.

Management Activities

The population of peregrine falcons is now rising and the bird is no longer considered a federally endangered species because of the following management activities:

  • Bans and regulations on pesticide use.
  • Reintroduction efforts into urban areas.
  • Monitoring the health of the falcon population each spring by monitoring nest sites and banding chicks.