Role of genetic background in the success of reintroduced peregrine falcons

Harrison B. Tordoff, Patrick T. Redig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Peregrine Falcons (Falco peregrinus) of seven subspecies from four continents were bred in captivity, and approximately 1173 of their progeny were released in the midwestern United States and adjacent regions of Ontario and Manitoba in an attempt to replace the original population that was extirpated by chlorinated hydrocarbon poisoning in the 1950s. We analyzed the success of individuals of the different subspecies introduced to the Midwest. Five of the seven subspecies released have contributed to the current breeding population. Subspecies of breeding Peregrine Falcons were equally represented when breeding birds of high productivity were compared with less prolific breeders. The subspecific makeup of the breeding population did not differ significantly from that of the released population, suggesting that adaptability in this species was sufficient to override genetic differences between subspecies. Peregrines of widely different genetic stocks have thrived after release, making substantial genetic contributions to the new population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)528-532
Number of pages5
JournalConservation Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001


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