|The Mountain-Prairie Region|
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228
April 30, 2003
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Releases Revised
Environmental Assessment on
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has just released a Draft Revised Environmental Assessment on take of nestling American peregrine falcons in the United States for use in falconry.
In April 2001, the Service completed an earlier assessment of the issue, with a preferred alternative allowing take of up to 5 percent of the nestlings for falconry. At that time, the Service concluded that such take would have no discernible effect on the population.
In February 2002 the Service was informed of a possible error in the assessment. The Service reviewed the models, and determined that age at reproduction in them was inadvertently set at age two, rather than age three as intended. To correct this issue, to use more current population data for the western States, and to make the effects of the alternatives considered easier to understand, the Service has produced the Draft Revised Environment Assessment, Management Plan, and Implementation Guidance. Also, corrected modeling and evaluation of current American peregrine falcon population data in the western United States indicated that the adult mortality figure used for comparisons in the original Environmental Assessment was too high.
In the Draft Revised Environmental Assessment, the Service considered six alternatives for take of nestling American peregrine falcons in the western United States and Alaska. The alternatives considered were no action, which would mean no take; take of 5, 10, 15, and 20 percent of annual production; and no restrictions on take beyond the existing falconry regulations. Modeling indicated that the population would continue to grow if take of as much as 20 percent of the nestlings produced were allowed.
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