The art of falconry in North America, practiced by a few individuals for many years, attracted little attention until the 1960?s. Presently about 2800 falconers are licensed in the United States with less than one half considered to be active. While interest in this art is expected to increase, we believe growth will be slow, probably 5 to 10% per year, due to rigorous demands on time and equipment required and restrictive regulations.....Many different species of raptors have been used in falconry. Presently 6 species are commonly used, especially the Red-tailed Hawk and American Kestrel. Present evidence suggests that only 2 races of the Peregrine Falcon are threatened in North America, and declines may have occurred in local populations of other species. Declines in populations of Peregrines are attributed to pesticide contamination of food chains. Apparent declines in other populations of raptors are also attributed to pesticides and locally to changes in land use and possibly indiscriminate shooting. Removal of raptors from wild populations for falconry has not had documentable adverse effects except possibly at local nesting sites. Continuation of the art of falconry under the framework of the recent federal regulations is not expected to have measurable impacts on region-wide populations. Management of raptors is poorly developed and relatively unexplored. Captive breeding of raptors holds much promise for production of birds both for re-establishment and as a source of birds for falconry. Falconers have contributed much to the continued improvement of the Cornell University Peregrine program in terms of breeding stocks and technique development.
Additional Publication Details
Conservation committee report. Falconry: Effects on raptor populations and management in North America