The Peregrine Falcon, once numerous throughout North America, could possibly become extinct. This is due to the effects of chemical pesticides such as DDT (which has been banned from the United States and Canada but not in all countries). The Peregrine Falcon population has suffered a dramatic decline over the past decades, and is presently on the list of endangered species in both Canada and the United States.
Endangered throughout Canada. Populations in southern Canada were established with captive bred young and remain small. Twenty years ago there were no breeding pairs in southern Alberta. Now there are 30 pairs across the province.
Agriculture and industrial use of pesticides has caused a worldwide decline of Peregrine Flacons. Pesticide use is closely regulated in Canada and in the U.S. but not in Latin America where Peregrine Flacons winter. Pesticide residues remain in the environment for many years. They are picked up by a variety of animals, then passed on up through the food chain to birds of prey.
The residues collect in the birds fat and eventually interfere with reproduction, causing thin eggshells and dead embryos.
Population recovery in Alberta is slow in spite of intensive management programs and reduced pollutant residues in falcons and their prey.
It is illegal to kill or disturb peregrine falcons or their nesting areas in Canada and the U.S.