The Canadian Peregrine Foundation

Raptor enthralls students
Nov 14, 2006 7:56:33 PM
Thunder Bay's Source

Some elementary school students got a different sort of lesson Monday, one which included a visit from a threatened species.

The Canadian Peregrine Foundation has been giving presentations to schools across the province for about eight years to help with the recovery effort for endangered birds of prey across Canada.

Thanks to funding from Ontario Power Generation, The Canadian Peregrine School Visit Program is in Thunder Bay this week, and made their first stop at Claude E. Garton School.

The guest of honour was a welcome sight for Grade four students. The Canadian Peregrine Foundation put on a presentation of the history of the threatened species and how the species is doing now.

The Foundation's outreach program educator Emma Stainton, taught the students what happened to the Peregrine falcons across Canada about 30 years ago, when the bird became endangered by environmental toxins.

''And also to try and educate this future generation about the mistakes we've made in the past, using pesticides, such as DDT that affected these guys so severely,'' she said.

Stainton says she wants to create public awareness of how the Peregrine falcon can be affected by such things and to encourage the kids to think about what they can do differently in the future to help the environment and the animals in Canada.

''Well, what I honestly hope is that they really get something out of this, and by meeting this bird of prey, they understand that this is an animal that is not only beautiful and stunning, but a real-life animal that this has actually happened to.''

Stainton says the Peregrine falcon is no longer an endangered species, but is considered threatened. She says the numbers have gone up from having only about 200 Peregrine falcons in Canada, to having almost 150 currently in Ontario.

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