Peregrine falconFalco peregrinus
Without efforts to breed peregrine falcons in captivity the species would probably be extinct in southern Sweden by now. Today, its numbers are growing instead.
Height: 40 - 50 cm Wingspan: 1 – 1,3 meter
The peregrine falcon’s natural range covers large parts of the world. Even so, the species was close to disappearing from Sweden’s fauna, the victim of an unseen enemy: environmental toxins. In the mid-1970s there were only 15 breeding pairs in Sweden. Many of them had been poisoned so badly that they could not have young. The falcon population began falling back in the 1920s can 1930s as a result of persecution by hunters and pigeon breeders. Bounties were paid for shooting birds of prey. In southern Sweden, the last few peregrine falcon nests were regularly plundered for their eggs in 1960s.
To save the species, the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation began breeding falcons in 1974. Almost 300 falcons had been released into the wild by 1997. The first sign of recovery were reported in late 1990s. In the year 2000 the breeding programme was moved to Nordens Ark. By 2012 had bred 180 falcon chicks and released them into the wild. Read about our efforts in the wild here.