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IDFG seeks comments on peregrine take

February 26, 2013
Once listed as an endangered species, the American peregrine falcon has rebounded to the extent that in 2004 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service authorized the capture of nestling peregrines from the wild for use in falconry.

In 2008, the Fish and Wildlife Service decided to also allow capture of post-fledging first-year peregrines – hatch year or “passage” birds.

States have the authority to manage the capture of up to 5 percent of annual production. Based on Fish and Game surveys, the most juvenile peregrines that could be taken from the wild in Idaho in any given year would be two birds.

Montana, Washington, Oregon, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado and Arizona also allow the capture of peregrine falcons.

Fish and Game proposes to allow the capture of two juvenile peregrines from the wild for falconry purposes in 2013 and has developed a set of draft rules for public comment. Draft rules can be found on Fish and Game’s website at, and comments will be accepted through March 11.

The peregrine has been used in falconry for more than 3,000 years, beginning with nomads in central Asia. Captured wild migratory peregrines were used regularly by North American falconers from 1938 to 1970 when the species was added to the federal list of threatened and endangered wildlife and plants. Until 2004, nearly all peregrines used for falconry in the United States were captive-bred from the offspring of birds captured before the Endangered Species Act was enacted.

The peregrine was removed from the endangered species list in 1999.

The successful recovery program was aided, in collaboration with Boise’s Peregrine Fund, Fish and Game, and federal agencies, by the effort and knowledge of falconers through a technique called “hacking,” the release of a captive-bred bird from a special cage at the top of a tower or cliff ledge.

If approved as proposed, this action will again allow falconers to capture a wild peregrine in Idaho for falconry purposes – for the first time in more that 40 years.
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