The Canadian Peregrine Foundation

Keep Peregrines in the Wild
by Rachel Hopper

The Colorado Hawking Club recently petitioned the Colorado Wildlife Commission for the right to remove four Peregrine Falcon chicks from the nest for use in the sport of falconry. There are many compelling reasons to refuse this request.

The Peregrine Falcon, just removed from the federal list of threatened and endangered species (August 1999), is still in the early stages of a complete recovery in Colorado. A tremendous amount of time and money by public/private groups went into this recovery. The CDOW, Falconers, the Peregrine Fund, the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management all cooperated in this effort. Since then, GOCO has supplied funds for the continued monitoring of the Peregrine. The removal of birds from the wild for the private use of any group would demonstrate disregard for these collaborative efforts.

In 1998, the Wildlife Commission agreed to a 5-year monitoring period with "no take" of Peregrines. There are still 2 years left in this period. The previous Wildlife Commission and the public accepted these terms in good faith and this Commission has an ethical responsibility to stand by this agreement.

There is no need. Captive propagation of Peregrines is extremely successful and all the birds needed by falconers are currently available to them through this process.

The financial burden that it will place on the CDOW is an unacceptable drain on an already beleaguered budget. Approving this request would create the need for an additional $30,000-40,000 a year in monitoring to ensure that the harvesting of Peregrine nestlings does not harm populations.

Contact the Colorado Wildlife Commission before their final decision on January 10 and let them know that you do not want Peregrine Falcon nestlings removed from the wild for use in the private sport of falconry. Comments can be sent to: Colorado Wildlife Commission, c/o Human Dimensions Unit, Colorado Division of Wildlife, 6060 Broadway, Denver, CO 80216. You may also e-mail your comments directly to:

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