June 24, 2003
Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell invites the public to log on to a live webcast later this week as biologists band four peregrine falcon chicks that hatched atop New Jersey's tallest building.
"This webcast will allow everyone to see first hand the kind of work our endangered species biologists have been doing for decades to restore these noble raptors to our skies," said DEP Commissioner Campbell.
The hour-long webcast will begin at 9 a.m. Wednesday, June 25, on the Peregrine Webcam site. Joining the commissioner will be Jeff Corwin, host of the Animal Planet television program "The Jeff Corwin Experience."
The peregrine nest to be featured in Wednesday's webcast was discovered several years ago atop 101 Hudson Street in Jersey City, a 592-foot-tall 42-story building and the highest in New Jersey. During the webcast, biologists will place identification bands on four chicks that hatched about four weeks ago. These chicks can walk but are still flightless.
Peregrines historically bred in New Jersey on cliffs along the Hudson and Delaware rivers, but they were wiped out in the East due to a combination of egg collecting, shooting, development and DDT pesticide contamination.
Starting in the late 1970s, biologists from the DEP's Endangered and Nongame Species Program released young peregrines into the wild. The first successful peregrine nest in the East was re-established in 1980 at Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge in Atlantic County, New Jersey. By 1986, 10 pairs were nesting in New Jersey and the population now remains stable at about 17 pairs.
Peregrine falcons were removed from the federal endangered species list in 1999. They continue to be listed as endangered in New Jersey because they remain threatened by contaminants and human disturbance, and they rely on active management of their nesting sites.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the New Jersey Endangered Species Conservation Act and the creation of the Endangered and Nongame Species Program in the DEP's Division of Fish and Wildlife.