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NMESFO proposes to reintroduce northern aplomado falcons in New Mexico
Southwest Region, February 9, 2005
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On February 9, 2005, the New Mexico Ecological Services Field Office (NMESFO) published a proposed rule in the Federal Register to reintroduce northern aplomado falcons (Falco femoralis septentrionalis) into their historic habitat in southern New Mexico with the purpose of establishing a viable resident population. We also proposed to designate this reintroduced population as a nonessential experimental population according to section 10(j) of the Endangered Species Act. This section grants the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) the authority to introduce experimental populations into a species? historical range and allows the agency to take local concerns into account so current and future land uses and activities need not be restricted. The geographic boundary of the proposed nonessential experimental population includes all of New Mexico and Arizona. A draft environmental assessment has also been prepared for this proposed action pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act, and both documents are currently undergoing public review.

The northern aplomado falcon is native to grassland habitats in Mexico, southern Texas and the Chihuahuan Desert in New Mexico and Arizona. The species was listed as endangered by the Service in March 1986. The recovery plan for the falcon lists reintroduction within the falcon's historic range as a high priority task to aid recovery of the species. The northern aplomado falcon is currently found in Mexico and is being reestablished through release programs in south and west Texas. The Northern Aplomado Falcon Release Program Working Group that assisted the NMESFO in the preparation of the proposed rule and draft environmental assessment includes The Peregrine Fund, Turner Endangered Species Fund, New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, Arizona Game and Fish Department, Bureau of Land Management, and the Department of Defense.

Contact Info: Martin Valdez, 505-248-6599, martin_valdez@fws.gov



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