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The Spoonbill, Vol. 56, No. 1, January 2007
Image 6
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The Spoonbill, Vol. 56, No. 1, January 2007 - Image 6. January 2007. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. June 23, 2021. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/2007_023/item/4419/show/4416.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(January 2007). The Spoonbill, Vol. 56, No. 1, January 2007 - Image 6. Outdoor Nature Club Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/2007_023/item/4419/show/4416

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

The Spoonbill, Vol. 56, No. 1, January 2007 - Image 6, January 2007, Outdoor Nature Club Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed June 23, 2021, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/2007_023/item/4419/show/4416.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title The Spoonbill, Vol. 56, No. 1, January 2007
Contributor (Local)
  • Shultz, Al
Publisher Outdoor Nature Club
Date January 2007
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Ornithology
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • newsletters
  • periodicals
Language English
Type (DCMI)
  • Text
Original Item Location ID 2007-023, Box 13, Folder 15
ArchivesSpace URI /repositories/2/archival_objects/9891
Original Collection Outdoor Nature Club Records
Digital Collection Outdoor Nature Club Newsletters
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/2007_023
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://libraries.uh.edu/branches/special-collections/
Use and Reproduction In Copyright
File Name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Image 6
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
File Name uhlib_2007_023_b013_f015_001_006.jpg
Transcript The New American Peregrine The Peregrine Falcon is an iconic raptor — legendary for its speed, and familiar in its sleek bold appearance. Birders consider themselves lucky to see a Peregrine at any time, even though the species can be seen regularly during migration at various hawkwatch sites, and irregularly through winter along the Gulf coast and Texas coastal prairies. For me non-birding public, familiarity with the Peregrine might well take place in a city center: at a nesting ledge beside a window of an office skyscraper, or in a high-speed chase after a pigeon through a 'concrete canyon.' In recent years, Peregrines have increased in numbers and in distribution, and arguably represent the single most successful recovery of an endangered species. How did this recovery come about? In a recent press release, US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Director H. Dale Hall credited the recovery of the Peregrine to "the ban on the use of the pesticide DDT, protections afforded by the Endangered Species Act, and the extraordinary partnership efforts of the Service and state wildlife agencies, universities, private organizations and falcon enthusiasts. These partnerships greatly accelerated the pace of recovery through captive breeding programs, reintroduction efforts and the protection of nest sites during the breeding season." The Peregrine was removed from the endangered species list in 1999, and now breeds in 41 of the 50 states. The recovery of the Peregrine is a more complex story than one might assume from this tidy summary, and the partnership efforts were not always cooperative. The many organizations and the egos of their leaders were often in heated conflict, and scientific reputations combined with political ambitions in some petty rivalries and unlikely alliances. Suffice it to say that birders and newcomers to hawkwatching should understand a few points about the Peregrine's recovery that are not always brought out. I write this as one who was involved in falconry and falcon breeding in the early 1970s, and was therefore an insider to a relatively small but influential group. Placing the Peregrine on the endangered species list in 1970 was in itself highly controversial. At that time the Peregrine comprised three distinct subspecies in North America: tundrius, the tundra falcon that breeds in the Alaskan and Canadian Arctic;pealei, the Peale's falcon, a nonmigratory population of the northern Pacific coast; and anatum, the "American Peregrine" of much of the rest of the continent. Around sixteen other subspecies of Peregrines are found worldwide, and all experienced some degree of population decline following the introduction of DDT and related pesticides in the 1940s. By the mid-1960s the anatum Peregrine had completely disappeared from all of its known nest sites in the eastern US, and only a few breeding pairs remained in the western states. This was the call to action for protecting the Peregrine. Populations of tundrius and pealei, although less well documented historically, were seemingly less affected. North American raptor biologists in 1970 included a large number of falconers, who had long experience with Peregrines that was vital to understanding falcon reproduction and possible recovery. However, many of these individuals also wanted to be allowed to continue to capture wild Peregrines for use in falconry, and therefore opposed not just the 'listing' of the Peregrine but any efforts (by supposedly ignorant bureaucrats) to manage its populations. Another traditional practice of falconers is the swapping, trading, buying and selling of wild- caught raptors. Although these activities were restricted when all native raptors received federal protection in 1972 under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, falcons obtained legally overseas could still be marketed. Captive breeding provided a new source ofbirds. Captive breeding was pioneered in the 1970s by falconers and raptor biologists through a murky combination of self-interest, science, luck and commerce. Private breeders furnished young falcons for government-operated restocking programs to augment wild populations. However, because captive-bred falcons can be sold, new markings and documentation had to be developed to ensure that wild birds were not being taken and sold as captive- bred. A sting operation by the USFWS in 1984 implicated some prominent Peregrine experts as participants in illegal international trafficking of falcons. Almost no convictions resulted, but reputations were damaged and many cooperating falconers became disgruntled, seeing the state and federal agencies managing the falcon restoration programs as the real villains in driving the international falcon market. The large restocking