The Peregrine Fund works worldwide to conserve wild populations of birds of prey. Conserving raptors provides an umbrella of protection for entire ecosystems and their biodiversity. The Peregrine Fund is a non-political, solution-oriented, hands-on, science-based organization.
The Peregrine Fund's goals are achieved by restoring and maintaining viable populations of species in jeopardy; studying little-known species; accomplishing research; conserving habitat, educating students, and developing local capacity for science and conservation in developing countries; and providing factual information to the public.
The Peregrine Fund is a nonprofit conservation organization created in 1970 at Cornell University by then Professor of Ornithology Tom Cade. Since 1984 the Fund's headquarters has been the World Center for Birds of Prey in Boise, Idaho. The organization employs the inter-disciplinary principles of conservation biology. The Peregrine Fund strongly believes in cooperative efforts involving individuals, organizations, corporations, and government — a belief that has been the cornerstone of the successful program to restore the Peregrine Falcon. The Fund is a results-oriented, hands-on organization that works locally, nationally, and internationally in temperate, tropical, and arctic environments. Preserving visible, charismatic, far-ranging species results in many benefits. By focusing on raptors and other birds and their ecological requirements, and providing sufficient protection to sustain viable populations, the Fund is using birds to provide an umbrella of protection for the diversity of life and the entire ecosystem associated with them. Since beginning work in 1970 the Fund has assisted raptor conservation projects in more than forty countries and six continents.
The Peregrine Fund is currently working on more than twenty projects in twenty-one countries. In the United States, its conservation efforts are focused on the restoration of the California Condor and the Aplomado Falcon. In addition, the Fund has an Interpretive Center at the World Center for Birds of Prey to educate the public about our projects and birds of prey around the world. Last year over 30,000 visitors came to the Interpretive Center.
Current international programs include conservation work on: vultures in Asia, Harpy Eagles in Panama, Orange-Breasted Falcons in Guatemala, Gyrfalcons in Greenland, Cape Vultures in Africa, Fish Eagles in Madagascar, and many other species all listed on the Peregrine Fund Web site: www.peregrinefund.org. the Fund is currently breeding California Condors, Aplomado Falcons, and Harpy Eagles in captivity at the World Center for Birds of Prey, for re-introduction into the wild.
This spring the first egg to be laid by a re-introduced California Condor occurred in the Grand Canyon National Park. The egg was found broken, not an unusual occurrence for condors on their first nesting attempt. This is the first California Condor to lay an egg in the wild since 1986. Additionally, the Fund is expecting to release between eight and twelve young condors this year.
The Peregrine Fund is best known for its work to restore the Peregrine Falcon. More than 4,000 Peregrines have been released to the wild; many of them now breed naturally in at least twenty-five states. That program has been completed. The species was legally "de-listed" in August 1999 from the Endangered Species List. Since the mid-1970s the Fund has also worked on conservation of species in the tropics, beginning with the Mauritius Kestrel, which was reduced to only two known pairs and now totals more than 600 wild birds.
At the World Center for Birds of Prey, research has been conducted on behavior, nutrition, growth, incubation, cryopreservation, and captive breeding, and more than 4,500 raptors of twenty-four species of eagles, hawks, and falcons have been produced.
Technology for release of captive-hatched raptors and re-establishment of extirpated populations has been developed for the Bald Eagle, Harpy Eagle, Bat Falcon, Mauritius Kestrel, Aplomado Falcon, and many other species.
The Peregrine Fund's Web site offers detailed information on the organization's conservation projects. Sections include the World Center for Birds of Prey, the Visitors' Center, Notes from the Field, "What's New," Archives of American Falconry, and an opportunity for visitors to sign up to receive a free e-newsletter informing them of current events within the organization.
The Peregrine Fund's budget is primarily funded by private corporations, foundations, and individuals. The Peregrine Fund's board has built an endowment and the interest from the endowment funds all of our administrative expenses. This means 100 percent of all donations go directly to projects. The Fund is desperately in need of more supporters to help with the ever-growing need to conserve wild populations of birds of prey nationally and internationally.