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The Society for Wild Animals “Falcon” is a group of passionate people interested in protection of nature and especially of the Peregrine Falcon species. Our group brings together falconers, hunters, ornithologists, foresters, specialists and volunteers. We cooperate with other organizations in the Council for Peregrine Restitution in Poland. Our Society is responsible for several main activities of the Programme – monitoring, banding, installation of nests, international cooperation and reintroduction in forests. Other organizations in the Council concentrate on breeding and reintroduction.
The story of the Peregrine falcon is known worldwide. Its situation in Poland was much worse. Poland (together with North-East Germany, Belarus and Central Russia) had a unique tree-nesting population. This population was extinct in the 1960s. The condition of Peregrine in Europe has improved, due to the ban on the use of DDT and numerous reintroduction projects. In some countries its population is now even larger than before the crisis. There was a huge change in the ecotypes during the last 50 years. Now we have a new population of Peregrines nesting in cities, which needs to be studied more thoroughly.
In Poland, our Peregrine project started in the mid-80s. From the beginning, our main objective was the restoration of the tree-nesting Peregrine. The second aim is the Peregrine itself. We started reintroductions in 1990. Since then, we released around 300 eyasses, most of them in forests. In 1998 we had our first wild nest – in Warsaw. Now we know about 12 nests of Peregrines – 2 in the mountains, the rest in cities.
We still have not achieved our main purpose – we do not know yet any tree-nesting Peregrines in Poland. On the other hand, there is already good news from Germany and this shows that our approach is correct – introducing as many birds as possible in the same area. We had several possible nesting cases but so far we did not have resources to find a nest before the end of a nesting season. Our Programme for Peregrine now consists of few main activities:
The responsibilities of our Society keep growing. We still rely mainly on the volunteer work, but we have to face the increasing costs of monitoring. Monitoring involves costs of travelling to check the possible nesting territories, installing nests, banding birds. We started in 1998 from a single nest in Warsaw, now we have about 12 nests in the whole country and some other 20 possible nesting areas, with increasing number of places to inspect every year.
We are sure that we should work on the reintroduction of the tree-nesting population and on further strengthening of the existing population in cities and the mountains of southern Poland.