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Public Hearings Conducted for Reintroducing the Northern Aplomado Falcon in New Mexico
Southwest Region, October 13, 2005
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The New Mexico Ecological Services Field Office (NMESFO) conducted two hearings in Las Cruces and Albuquerque (October 11,13) to accept public comments for the Fish and Wildlife Service’s proposal to reintroduce northern aplomado falcons (Falco femoralis septentrionalis) (federally listed as endangered) into their historic habitat in southern New Mexico with the purpose of re-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.  The geographic boundary of the proposed nonessential experimental population includes all of New Mexico and Arizona.  An environmental assessment and monitoring plan are also currently undergoing public review.  Total attendance at both hearings was 109, and oral comments were given by approximately 25 attendees.

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 U.S. Fish and Wildlife 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, draft environmental assessment and monitoring plan 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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