Since 1981, NH Audubon conservation biologists and a legion of dedicated volunteers have worked tirelessly to advance Peregrine Falcon population recovery in New Hampshire. NH Audubon first became involved as organized releases of captive-bred falcons were ending and monitoring of wild-breeding pairs began. From a single cliff-nesting pair that fledged two chicks in Franconia Notch in 1981, to 25 breeding territories that produced a record-high 43 fledglings in 2018, NH Audubon observers have been there for nearly 40 years!
Currently, we work with building and bridge managers to install nesting boxes and trays to give peregrines a safe place to lay their eggs. We work with park managers and rock climbing groups to establish temporary recreation restrictions on climbing routes and overlooks that impact nesting success. Since the early 1990s, NH Audubon conservation biologists and rock climbing volunteers have banded over 360 peregrine chicks in the state, 55% of all those produced since 1981. A remarkable 26% of New Hampshire’s banded peregrines have been re-sighted, resulting in hard-to-obtain data on individual longevity and dispersal. Recent analysis of dozens of non-viable eggs obtained by NHA biologists have contributed significantly to our knowledge about levels of PDBEs and other toxins in the region’s peregrine population.
The Peregrine Falcon was removed from the federal Threatened and Endangered Species List in 1999, and downlisted from Endangered to Threatened on the New Hampshire T&E List in September 2008. Volunteers can learn more about becoming involved in our on-going monitoring and management of Peregrine Falcons by contacting raptor specialist Chris Martin in the Conservation Department.
Project Leader: Chris Martin