Peregrine Falcon Project
The Nature Trust’s Peregrine Falcon Project
With only 15 known nesting sites in our province, the Peregrine Falcon is considered a threatened species in New Brunswick and in Canada. Fortunately, the Peregrine Falcon is slowly recovering – 10 years ago only five nesting sites were known in our province.
The Nature Trust has been contacting landowners either hosting or within the vicinity of Peregrine nesting sites to provide them with information about the Peregrine and how they can help ensure the species continued recovery. These partnerships are essential in order to conserve Peregrine habitat. To date we have successfully protected one nesting site through our Long Island Conservation Project. In partnership with the Parish of Sackville, an extremely successful Climb-a-thon event was held enabling us to raise enough money for the stewardship of another site – Grindstone Island.
The Peregrine Falcon
Peregrine Falcons have been admired for their beauty and speed for centuries. One of the fastest animals on earth, Peregrines can accelerate to approximately 300 km/h, diving to strike prey with their fisted talons. Their in-flight hunting maneuvers are spectacular, and are matched only, perhaps, by their high-altitude courtship display. It is not surprising that Peregrines have been a symbol of speed and prowess since the days of medieval falconry.
A Brush with Extinction
Hunting by humans and collection of eggs for falconry caused the Peregrine Falcon’s initial decline. Then, the introduction of synthetic pesticides, namely DDT, saw the falcon eliminated from much of Canada and the eastern seaboard by the 1950s. Although a Peregrine Falcon population has been re-established in eastern Canada through a re-introduction program, their future survival is not certain. We must continue to provide habitat and avoid disturbing nesting sites in order for them to thrive.
Current Threats to Peregrine Falcons
Peregrine Falcons nest on cliff ledges or tall structures where they are safe from predators. Cliff nesting falcons require their nest sites to be sheltered from human activity, as they are generally sensitive to human disturbance. Present day threats to the recovery of the Peregrine Falcon include the following:
- Disturbance from hikers, rock climbers and photographers
- Forest cutting
- Construction (buildings, residential development, roads)
The Nature Trust currently protects three nesting sites of Peregrine Falcon on Long Island, Grindstone Island, and Manawagonish Island. The Nature Trust also continues to work closely with landowners to ensure their cooperation.
The Nature Trust gratefully acknowledges the support of the following sponsors for its conservation work with Peregrine Falcons: Environment Canada through the Habitat Stewardship Program, New Brunswick Environmental Trust Fund and countless individuals.
For More Information on Peregrine Falcons