The most significant threat facing falconid populations today is habitat destruction due to intensified human land use, such as logging and clearing of forests. While habitat changes such as forest clearing favor some falconid species, other species that depend on intact forest habitat are declining as a result of development. Many falconid species suffered population declines during the 1960’s and 70’s as the result of poisoning from widespread organochlorine pesticide use. While use of organochlorine pesticides has been eliminated in many countries, it continues in some lesser-developed countries. Local threats to falconid populations include introduced predators, secondary poisoning (from poisons meant for other species), collision with man-made objects such as cars, windows and windmills, bird and egg collection for trade, and electrocution on power lines.
A few species of falconids have successfully adapted to urban landscapes. For example, peregrine falcons are able to nest on buildings, bridges and overpasses, and are able to achieve similar, and sometimes even higher reproductive success compared to pairs nesting in more natural landscapes.
One species of falconid has gone extinct in recorded history. Guadeloupe caracaras (Polyborus plancus lotosus) went extinct around 1600. Today, the IUCN lists 4 species as vulnerable and 6 species as near threatened. All species of Falconids are listed under CITES Appendix I or Appendix II.
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