The Danish Peregrine Falcon population is increasing

Niels Peter Andreasen, Knud Falk, Søren Møller

    Publikation: KonferencebidragPaperForskningpeer review


    Denmark being a country with only a few suitable steep nesting cliffs has only harbored a small population of peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus) in historic time. In the previous century the population gradually declined due to persecution, egg and young collection, and pollution. The last breeding attempt in the 20th century occurred in 1972 at Møns K lint in southeastern Denmark.
    No new breeding attempts were recorded in Denmark until 2001 where a male peregrine from southern Sweden and a female from northern Germany paired up at the location mentioned above. Since then the Danish peregrine population has gradually increased – most rapidly since 2012 – to 19 known territorial pairs in 2016; some of them breeding on man-made structures (nest boxes at
    bridges and power plants). In this poster, we present detailed information on the reestablishment of the peregrine falcon in Denmark: origin and dispersal, reproduction, and eggshell thinning.
    Color banding programs in the neighboring countries (and since 2009 in Denmark) have in some cases made it possible to determine the origin of breeding peregrines. Peregrines originating from neighboring countries have in eight cases been observed breeding in Demark: 3 from Sweden, 4
    from Germany and 1 from Poland. Similarly, peregrines banded in Danish eyries have been observed as territorial or breeding in Sweden (2 cases) or at other locations in Denmark (5 cases). The reproduction measured as number of ‘young per successful pair’ (reaching ringing age) and ‘young per occupied territory’ (“productivity”) is on average 2.2 and 1.3, respectively, for the entire
    period 2001-2016. The productivity of Danish peregrines is thus well above the critical limit (1.0 according to USFWS), where concerns may be raised.
    Not much is known about contaminant loads in Danish peregrines. One of the eggs from the breeding attempt in 1972 was analyzed for DDT and PCB and the result showed very high values. The eggs from the failed breeding attempt in 2001 were also collected but have not been analyzed. Since the banding program was initiated in 2009 we have collected eggshell fragments whenever
    possible. Measurements of the eggshell fragments show that the thickness is normal when compared to pre-DDT eggs held at the Zoological Museum in Copenhagen. This indicates that the load of eggshell thinning contaminants, especially DDT and its degradation products, in the peregrines is low and no longer of concern. Data presented in this poster have been collected by voluntary ornithologists in cooperation with the authors, and the ringing program is approved, coordinated and performed by Copenhagen
    Bird Ringing Centre, Natural History Museum of Denmark.
    Publikationsdatosep. 2017
    Antal sider1
    StatusUdgivet - sep. 2017
    Begivenhed4th International Peregrine Conference - Herman Otto Institute, Budapest, Ungarn
    Varighed: 27 sep. 20171 okt. 2017
    Konferencens nummer: 4


    Konference4th International Peregrine Conference
    LokationHerman Otto Institute
    AndetThe Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus is an icon of success in nature conservation.<br/><br/>In many countries Peregrine populations are in favourable conservation status, even better than before the major declines that occurred in the 1960s and 1970s. In many countries there are ongoing projects involving reintroduction and management of the wild populations, in others such projects have now ended successfully. However, there still remains the challenging task to re-establish the tree-nesting population in central Europe.<br/><br/>The organisers of the Budapest Conference have the honour to announce Professor Tom Cade as a member of the Scientific Committee and welcome his generous proposal to count the next year's Conference in line with the Madison (1965), Sacramento (1985) and Poznan (2007) Conferences, making it the 4th International Conference to be dedicated to the Peregrine Falcon.<br/><br/>Peregrine studies are routinely presented at ornithological conferences, but as one of many other issues. This Conference will bring together experts and researchers from around the world to present the extensive range of Peregrine research that has been carried out over the last ten years.<br/><br/>The first such conference took place in 1965 in Madison, and was successful not only in highlighting the effects of organochlorines on Peregrine populations, but also in bringing a diverse audience together with the common purpose of restoring this species' fortunes. As Cade et al. (1988)* state "As the most cosmopolitan naturally-distributed bird in the world, and as a top predator in the global ecosystem, the Peregrine was and is a unique biological monitor of the quality of the world's environments. Long known as the bird of kings, the Peregrine's preeminent position in falconry and its embodiment of nobility in the wild helped rally to the cause of biological conservation an extraordinary array of individuals and organizations." <br/><br/>* "Peregrine falcon populations: their management and recovery", Edited by T.C.Cade, J.H.Enderson, C.G.Thelander and C.M.White, The Peregrine Fund, 1988.<br/><br/>The 1985 Conference in Sacramento, USA, gathered an enormous number (circa 500) specialists from all over the world. They concluded that modern techniques of breeding and reintroduction, together with a ban on DDT, would allow recovery of many Peregrine populations. <br/><br/>A smaller regional conference was held in1994 in Włocławek, Poland (proceedings in Acta Ornithologica, Vol. 30, No 1, 1995, see on the web).<br/><br/>The 2007 Conference in Poland (proceedings published in "Peregrine Falcon populations – status and perspectives in the 21st century", see on the web) confirmed the recovery of many Peregrine populations around the world and positive growth of many others. <br/><br/>Now, a decade after the Poznan Conference, the global status of the Peregrine has improved significantly. And to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Peregrine returning to breed in Hungary, the 4th International Peregrine Conference is to be held in Budapest.<br/><br/>This Conference offers a unique opportunity for Peregrine enthusiasts from all over the world to meet up to renew old acquaintances, make new friends and exchange knowledge, experience and ideas. It will be an international celebration of this truly spectacular and cosmopolitan bird for prey.<br/>


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