The Peregrine Fund (TPF) was founded in 1970 by a researcher and falconer named Dr. Tom Cade. He founded TPF because Peregrine Falcons – one of the fastest animals in the world – had been declining throughout North America, and he wanted to protect them from extinction. The Peregrine Fund became an official organisation when Dr. Cade received a donation from two young boys who collected money from their neighbours and friends and also wanted to help protect birds of prey.
Dr. Cade and all the scientists at The Peregrine Fund, other organizations, government agencies, and the falconry community worked very hard to breed Peregrine Falcons in captivity and released more than 4,000 of them into the wild.
They also fought to ban a pesticide called DDT, which was harming these falcons and other wildlife. Almost twenty years later, on 25 August 1999, the Peregrine Falcon was removed from the U.S. Endangered Species List! This was a huge success for The Peregrine Fund and for conservation everywhere.
The Peregrine Fund continues to work hard to protect raptors and their habitats all over the world, from the majestic Harpy Eagle that lives high in the canopy of the rainforests of Central and South America, to the Taita Falcon that graces the African skies, to the American Kestrel who can be seen along roadsides and in nest boxes in many neighborhoods in North America. In the first 45 years as an organization, The Peregrine Fund has worked in over 70 countries around the world and with over 100 species of birds of prey.
Though there is still much work to be done….
…The Peregrine Fund has made great strides in conserving raptors. Their work with vultures around the world is a wonderful example. Though many people don’t like vultures because they find them to be ugly, the truth is vultures are regal, lovely creatures that play a very important role in keeping our environment healthy and clean. For example, a flock of vultures can clean up a cow carcass in just a few hours, eliminating bacteria that can cause disease and make humans sick. Without vultures, a large carcass could take weeks to completely decompose and attract disease vectors such as flies and feral dogs. Thank goodness for vultures!
The Peregrine Fund has taken on the very important task of protecting vultures around the world. In North America, the California Condor was highly endangered – there were only 22 individuals left in the wild in the 1980s. Thanks in part to TPF’s captive breeding and release efforts, there are now over 200 California Condors flying free in Arizona, Utah, California, and Baja, Mexico.
Across the globe in India…
…vulture populations dropped by over 90% in just a few years. The Peregrine Fund’s scientists discovered the vultures were dying because they were feeding on dead cattle which, when they were alive, had been treated with a drug called diclofenac. This drug remained in the cattle’s’ systems and was transferred to the vultures when they fed on the cow meat. This drug caused the vultures’ kidneys to fail and they died. The Peregrine Fund is working with veterinarians and farmers to help protect vultures in Southeast Asia and, because of these efforts, populations seem to have stabilized.
…vultures are being poisoned when farmers set out poison bait to kill lions and hyenas and other predators they think will kill their livestock. TPF is working with locals to stop this practice and build better protective enclosures for their livestock. We have trained teenagers, who are part of the Maasai community, to teach their villages about the importance of vultures to their ecosystem.
The Peregrine Fund will continue to protect birds of prey and their habitats through scientific research, environmental education, and student support around the world. Our history of successes proves that when people care about wildlife and work together, we can save species!
Learn more about The Peregrine Fund here
The Peregrine Fund collaborated on the 2016 GTT Book 3.