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----- Forwarded by Rich Greenwood/R3/FWS/DOI on 08/01/2001 04:09 PM -----

July 31, 2001
Cindy Hoffman (202) 208-3008

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today released a proposed monitoring
plan for the American peregrine falcon.  The peregrine falcon was removed
from Federal Endangered Species Act (Act) protection on August 25, 1999,
because of its successful recovery.  Once delisted, the Act requires that
species be monitored for a minimum of 5 years.

The proposed monitoring plan recommends that approximately 20 percent of
the known breeding population be monitored once every 3 years for at least
5 generations.  American peregrine falcons mature at about 3 years of age,
therefore the monitoring plan proposes to conduct five surveys, once every
three years, to detect changes in the population.

 "This monitoring program for the peregrine falcon is similar to an annual
check-up.  We want to make sure that our patients, once released from the
intensive care provided by the Endangered Species Act,  remain healthy and
vital," said Marshall Jones, Acting Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife

Monitoring for a wide-ranging species such as the peregrine falcon will be
a complex undertaking.  The proposed plan designates five geographical
regions within the United States for surveys.  Each territory would be
visited twice, once during late courtship, egg laying, or incubation, and
once late in the nesting season.  The intent of the first visit would be to
verify the presence of a nesting pair; the second visit would be to
determine the presence or absence of young.

 "We hope that the state wildlife agencies, other federal partners,
universities, private ornithological groups, and falcon enthusiasts who
played a critical role in the recovery of the peregrine will continue their
involvement through the monitoring program," said Jones.  "The Service will
need the help of its partners and the public in monitoring not only the
peregrine falcon, but also other sensitive species."

Monitoring would include the collection of information on  population
trends and nesting success.  At the end of each monitoring period the
Service will review all available information to determine if the status of
the peregrine continues to improve.  Should any decline be detected, the
Service will work closely with the States and other involved partners to
determine what measures need to be implemented to reverse the decline.
Although not anticipated, if at anytime during the monitoring program
information indicates that protective status under the Act should be
reinstated, the Service can initiate listing procedures including, if
appropriate, an emergency listing.

The notice of availability for the Service's proposed peregrine falcon
monitoring plan was published in the Federal Register on July 31, 2001.
Copies of the proposed monitoring plan may also be requested by contacting
the Service at the address listed below or through the internet at
http://endangered.fws.gov/recovery/docs/peregrine_monitoring.pdf.  The
Service is requesting comments on the proposed peregrine falcon monitoring
plan for the next 30 days.  Comments may be submitted to Robert Mesta,
Office of Migratory Birds, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 12661 E.
Broadway Blvd., Tucson, Arizona 85748 or via fax at 520/258-7238.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency
responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and
plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American
people. The Service manages the 94-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge
System which encompasses more than 535 national wildlife refuges, thousands
of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 70
national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resource offices and 78 ecological
services field stations. The agency enforces Federal wildlife laws,
administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations,
restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife
habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their
conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that
distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and
hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.

- FWS -

For more information about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, visit our
home page at http://www.fws.gov

For Questions and Answers See

News releases are also available on the World Wide Web at

Questions concerning a particular news release or item of
information should be directed to the person listed as the
contact. General comments or observations concerning the
content of the information should be directed to Mitch Snow
(Mitch_Snow@fws.gov) in the Office of Public Affairs.

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