The Nature Conservancy of Canada said conservation efforts are working and maintaining habitat is now crucial in the falcons continued recovery. -Image: Brian Ratcliff

Well-known Canadian bird making a comeback

Once on the brink of extinction, the peregrine falcon no longer considered at risk in Canada.

One of Canada’s well-recognized raptors, the peregrine falcon, has made a remarkable comeback from the brink of extinction. The Nature Conservancy of Canada says it is a positive sign that conservation efforts are working and that maintaining habitat is now crucial in their continued recovery.

The conservation status of the peregrine falcon has been assessed as “not at risk” by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). Designated as an endangered species in 1978, the falcon was almost eliminated from much of North America because of the effects of the pesticide DDT.

Following a phase-out of the chemical in North America the 1970s, along with a captive breeding program, populations have recovered to the point the committee says the falcon is no longer at risk. Population numbers have increased to throughout most of Canada and the species recolonized much of its former range, including urban habitats. Only the sub-species of falcon found along Canada’s west coast is still considered at risk. The peregrine falcon is known to fly at remarkable speeds up to 320 kilometres per hour. It preys on other birds that it catches in mid-flight.

Dan Kraus, senior conservation biologist with the Nature Conservancy of Canada, says there are many things we can do to ensure that the species’ recovery continues. Actions include continuing to monitor the impacts of other toxic chemicals on peregrine falcons, and protecting their nesting sites.

“Peregrine falcons nest on cliff ledges or tall structures, where they are safe from predators and human activity. Although the birds may abandon their nest if disturbed by people, they are proving to be incredibly adaptive,” said Kraus. The peregrine falcon now nests in urban habitats, and can often be seen in cities. “I’ve now seen more peregrine falcons in cities than I have in the wild,” says Kraus, it’s an amazing bird that many Canadians can now experience.”

Kraus points out that “it should be a reminder that we can recover endangered species. There are over 25 species that have been delisted by COSEWIC including the American white pelican, southern flying squirrel and humpback whale (Western North Atlantic population).Our biggest challenge now is to protect and recover species that are threatened by habitat loss.”

Peregrine falcons have been documented on over 20 Nature Conservancy of Canada properties across the country. They include:

• Big Trout Bay, Wilson and Caribou Island on Lake Superior, and the Frontenac Arch in south-eastern Ontario.

• In Quebec, they have been observed on NCC properties in the Eastern Townships, the Gaspe region, in Prévost, on sites near Montmagny, at Papineau Lake and on the Îles-de-la-Madeleine.

• Peregrine falcons are also found in western Canada including NCC lands in the Missouri Coteau in Saskatchewan and in the South Selkirk Mountains of BC.

One of the best places to view the peregrine falcon is the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick where it nests and feeds at the NCC’s Johnson’s Mills Shorebird Reserve.

In BC, the sub-species of the peregrine falcon is still listed under special concern. This sub-species has been observed on some of NCC’s lands on the West Coast.

For more information, visit www.natureconservancy.ca.

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

World Community Film Festival returns to Kelowna

The festival celebrates its 16th anniversary

Line-up for Kelowna Fan Experience 2019 to be announced

The line-up will be announced Feb. 22

2019’s “status quo” budget accepted cautiously by Kelowna Chamber

“(This budget) is to appeal to an NDP base.”

Teresa May talent agency opens in Kelowna

The agency will be holding an all ages open casting event Feb. 24

Niedermayer jersey retirement ceremony a dream come true

Penticton minor hockey players bring home memories of a lifetime from Niedermayer jersey retirement

Students give two thumbs up to no more B.C. student loan interest

Eliminating the loan interest charges could save the average graduate $2,300 over 10 years

Ontario man accused of killing 11-year-old daughter dies in hospital, police say

Roopesh Rajkumar had been hospitalized with what police described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound

Larch Hills junior skiers top Teck BC Midget Championships

Multiple top-five finishes contribute to aggregate team trophy

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

Vehicle fire on Coquihalla near Kamloops

A large plume of smoke could be seen rising into the sky over Highway 5

Pool plans disappoint Shuswap swim clubs

Salmon Arm mayor assures options for city rec centre only preliminary

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

Most Read