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Restoring the Peregrine Falcons to West Virginia


Peregrine Falcons are the fastest animal on the planet, diving after prey from the sky at over 260 miles an hour. Primarily bird hunters, they have gradually been rebounding from the devastating effects of DDT, a pesticide used between 1940 - 1972. The overuse of the pesticide caused such population declines in Peregrine Falcons (among other species) that they were faced with extinction and were placed on the Endangered Species List. Now with DDT banned in the United States, the Peregrine Falcon is making a comeback, enough so that they were able to be removed from the Endangered Species List in 1999.

Peregrine falcon populations, although rebounding, have still not expanded into the full range of their native haunts. Three Rivers Avian Center, the WV Department of Natural Resources, the National Park Service - New River Gorge and the Center for Conservation Biology  joined together in this effort to re-establish these birds to Southern Appalachia.

Working with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and State Wildlife Biologists from Virginia,  New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware, young peregrines are taken from dangerous nesting sites in each state and brought to the New River Gorge near Fayetteville and Beckley, West Virginia. From 2006 through 2011, 120 Peregrines were raised and released into the New River Gorge .




Annual Reports on File
2008 2009 2010 2011
* This link goes to the New River Gorge National River website page for the Peregrine Restoration Project year 2007. It contains  information concerning the satellite transmitters used to track 6 of the birds that year as well as maps illustrating those Peregrines' travels around the country. Due to circumstances beyond our control, the project report for that year is unavailable.