Peregrine population soaring

Raptors make a comeback, removed from Endangered Species list

Photo courtesy of kansas department of wildlife and parks

One of the first animals in California protected under the state’s Endangered Species Act has bounced back to the point that biologists have determined it no longer meets the qualifications for protection.

Like many other species of raptors, the peregrine falcon (pictured) neared extinction due to the use of DDT. The pesticide, which was banned in the early ’70s, thinned the shells of the birds’ eggs, causing the raptors to crush their own young, reported The Times-Standard.

During the height of DDT use, scientists estimated that only 10 breeding pairs of the falcons existed. These days, due to captive-breeding and releasing programs, the species has grown to more than 1,000 birds, including a reported 150 to 250 breeding pairs.

In a unanimous decision earlier this month, the state Fish and Game Commission voted to remove peregrines from the list of endangered animals.