Regional Status

The peregrine falcon population declined precipitously throughout its range as a result of the widespread use of DDT after World War II. This toxic chemical accumulated to dangerous levels in top predators, weakening egg shells and causing failed reproduction in many birds of prey. The peregrine falcon was one of the first species listed as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act in 1973. It was subsequently listed as endangered by Washington State in 1980, when only five pairs of peregrines were found in the entire state.

After the ban of DDT in the United States in 1972, and extensive peregrine reintroduction programs from captive breeding programs, populations began to recover. By 1999 the population in the United States had recovered sufficiently that it was delisted, and is now considered a federal species of concern. In 2001 there were 72 occupied territories in Washington State, and in 2002 it was downlisted from endangered to a sensitive species. Peregrine falcons are still protected by the U.S. Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

View the 2002 Washington State final peregrine falcon status report.