(Photo Courtesy of the National Audubon Society, Inc.)
Starting tomorrow Indiana's peregrine falcon officially comes off the state's endangered species list. Phil Bloom, spokesperson with the Indianan Department of Natural Resources, says in the mid 1970's Cornell University began a program to re-introduce the birds, and Indiana got involved in the re-introduction program in 199, releasing 60 young falcons over a four year period beginning in Indianapolis and then Fort Wayne, South Bend and Evansville.
Bloom says just prior to the Indiana DNR beginning its reintroduction and release program in 1989, two peregrine falcons were found nesting in East Chicago, so northwest Indiana played a key part in this recovery.
Bloom says through the program it was discovered that urban settings offered nesting areas in tall buildings that mimic the peregrine's natural cliff-side habitat. A half-century ago, habitat loss and decreased reproduction resulting from the use of pesticides, such as DDT, put the peregrine falcon in peril of surviving as a species and by 1965, no peregrine falcons nested east of the Mississippi River and western populations had declined by 90 percent. The peregrine falcon was officially removed from the federal endangered list in 1999.