At the first Peregrine Conference in 1965, biologists concluded that the Peregrine Falcon was in serious decline around the world. Concerned enthusiasts in the sport of falconry believed that breeding falcons in captivity would be a way to keep the species alive if the wild birds became extinct. After a second meeting at Cornell University in 1969, the governments of the United States, Canada and Mexico were asked to protect the remaining populations of Peregrine Falcons. The U.S. Department of Interior listed the falcon as endangered in 1970. The pesticide DDT, which caused the birds' eggshells to become thin and break, was banned for domestic use in the United States in 1972. The falcon remained on the list of endangered species when the Endangered Species Act was adopted by Congress in 1973.
Ornithology professor Tom Cade founded The Peregrine Fund at Cornell University in 1970 to breed the falcons in captivity and release them to the wild. In 1974 a second breeding operation was begun in Fort Collins, Colorado, managed by Bill Burnham, who went on to become president of The Peregrine Fund for 23 years. Both operations relocated to Boise, Idaho after the World Center for Birds of Prey was established in 1984. The Peregrine Fund bred and released more than 4,000 falcons from 1974 to 1997. In 1985, The Peregrine Fund held an international conference on the 20th anniversary of the first Peregrine Conference to celebrate the survival and growing recovery of the falcon population and to assess its global status.
Since 1970, The Peregrine Fund has hatched and raised 20 species of rare birds and pioneered propagation and releasing techniques for numerous species. Species systematically released to the wild to develop techniques or restore wild populations include the Aplomado Falcon, Bald Eagle, Bat Falcon, California Condor, Harpy Eagle, Madagascar Fish Eagle, Mauritius Kestrel, Orange-breasted Falcon, and Prairie Falcon. Overall, the organization has monitored, surveyed and worked with 99 raptor species in the wild around the world.
Read more about this topic: The Peregrine Fund
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