Degree of Threat: B : Moderately threatened throughout its range, communities provide natural resources that when exploited alter the composition and structure of the community over the long-term, but are apparently recoverable
Comments: Threats include loss of wetland habitat of primary prey, poachers robbing nests, shooting by hunters, and food chain contamination from use of persistent pesticides. Pesticide-caused reproductive failure now apparently is rare or absent in northern populations, though organochlorine levels in the environment are still high in some areas (e.g., New Mexico, Hubbard and Schmitt 1988; see also Peakall 1990; see Banasch et al. 1992 for information on contaminants in prey in Panama, Venezuela, and Mexico). Court (1993) studied the eggs of F. p. anatum in Alberta, Canada between 1983 and 1992, and found that high DDE levels still occurred in some eggs, and that 28 percent of the eggs were still thinner than critical thicknesses considered essential for successful reproduction.
Also, eggshell thickness in New Jersey declined in the 1980s, suggesting that falcons continue to be exposed to environmental contaminants (Steidl et al. 1991). Reintroduced populations in some areas of the eastern U.S. (e.g., barrier islands of the mid-Atlantic states) may be threatened by increasing human disturbance and use of nesting habitat (Byrd and Johnston 1991).
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