'We can recover endangered species': Peregrine falcon no longer considered at-risk
A well-known Canadian bird has been brought back from the brink of extinction — news one conservation group says is a sign that conservation efforts are working.
The peregrine falcon is known to fly at remarkable speeds up to 320 km/h and preys on other birds that it catches in mid-flight.
It was designated as an endangered species in 1978 and was almost eliminated from much of North America because of the effects of the pesticide DDT.
Four decades later, the conservation status of the bird has been assessed as "not at risk" by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada.
The committee says the phase-out of DDT in North America in the 1970s, along with a captive breeding program, has allowed population numbers to recover.
'They are proving to be indrecibly adaptive'
Dan Kraus, senior conservation biologist with the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), says the remarkable recovery should be a reminder that endangered species can make a comeback.
Kraus says one thing Canadians can do to ensure the species' recovery continues is to protect their nesting sites, which are often found on cliff ledges and tall structures.
"Although the birds may abandon their nest if disturbed by people, they are proving to be incredibly adaptive," said Kraus, noting that the falcon now nests in urban habitats.
"I've now seen more peregrine falcons in cities than I have in the wild. It's an amazing bird that many Canadians can now experience."
He says 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.