[Federal Register: December 8, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 236)]
[Page 74508-74509]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R9-MB-2008-NO156; 91200-1231-9BPP]

Take of Migrant Peregrine Falcons in the United States for Use in 

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.


SUMMARY: This notice is to announce the availability of a Final 
Environmental Assessment and Management Plan (FEA) for take of migrant 
peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus) in the United States for use in 

ADDRESSES: The FEA is available from the Division of Migratory Bird 
Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, 
Room 634, Arlington, VA 22203-1610. You can request a copy of the FEA 
by calling 703-358-1825. The FEA also is available on the Division of 
Migratory Bird Management Web site at http://www.fws.gov/

Migratory Bird Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, at 703-358-

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We published a notice of the availability of 
a Draft Environmental Assessment on November 13, 2007 (72 FR 63921). We 
stated in the DEA that our management goal is to allow a reasonable 
harvest of migrant Northern peregrines while not increasing cumulative 
harvest of the U.S. portion of the Western or the

[[Page 74509]]

Alaskan segment of the Northern population to a harvest rate (defined 
as the proportion/percentage of fledged young in a given year that are 
removed by falconers) greater than 5%, and to have a minimal impact on 
non-target populations by limiting take of peregrines from them to less 
than 1%.
    In the DEA, we considered six alternatives to address potential 
take of migrant peregrine falcons in the United States and Alaska. 
Under the No-Action Alternative, no legal take of migrant peregrine 
falcons for falconry could occur. We also evaluated alternatives that 
would allow take in different locations and at different times.
    Having reviewed the comments on the DEA, we have revised the 
assessment, have reanalyzed data on North American peregrine falcon 
migration, and have considered eight alternatives for the harvest of 
passage peregrines. We analyzed the likely effects of harvest under the 
eight alternatives using band recovery data for peregrines that had 
been banded as nestlings and re-encountered during their first year, 
and the best available conservative estimates of population size for 
each management population. From these data sets, we estimated the 
proportion of each management population's first-year cohort that 
potentially would be exposed to harvest risk annually under each 
alternative, and, assuming harvest was in proportion to availability, 
the likely makeup of harvest.
    The preferred alternative in our FEA is to allow take of 116 
nestling and post-fledging first-year peregrine falcons from the 
nesting period through 31 August west of 100 degrees W longitude 
(including Alaska), and allow a take of 36 first-year migrant peregrine 
falcons between 20 September and 20 October from anywhere in the U.S. 
east of 100 degrees W longitude. These harvest limits take into account 
an annual falconry harvest of up to two migrant peregrine falcons in 
Canada and up to 25 in Mexico, which we believe is consistent with the 
current harvest in the two countries.
    We expect there to be extensive coordination through the flyway 
councils on matters of harvest allocation among participating States in 
the U.S. and Mexico, and Canadian provinces. We propose to work with 
the flyway councils to establish procedures for collection, housing, 
and assessment of feather samples, and to establish criteria for 
determining the sex of harvested peregrines. In addition, we propose to 
monitor the number, sex, and geographic distribution of peregrines that 
are harvested to ensure compliance with the frameworks in the proposed 
action. We will work through the flyway councils, or take regulatory 
actions, to resolve issues of non-compliance.
    Future population surveys may identify changes in population size 
or productivity values from those reported here. We will review 
population and harvest data for Canada, the U.S., and Mexico every five 
years, or at the request of the flyway councils, to reassess the 
allowable harvest limits. If, during one of these reviews, we determine 
that F. p. anatum is no longer formally considered threatened or 
endangered by the Canadian Wildlife Service in Canada, and if the 
Atlantic and Mississippi flyway councils have determined that 
peregrines from the Eastern management population no longer warrant 
special protection, we may consider a more liberal take of migrants.

    Dated: November 20, 2008.
Kenneth Stansell,
Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. E8-29011 Filed 12-5-08; 8:45 am]