Peregrine falcon removed from Indiana list of endangered species
Saturday, October 12, 2013 5:00 AM
One interesting side story of the bridge replacement project has been the handling of peregrine falcons that had taken up residence on the old bridge.
Workers from Walsh Construction and the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources have taken special care to make sure the falcons were safe during the bridge replacement project.
The peregrine falcon is on the endangered species list in many states.
But now, the peregrine falcon is coming off Indiana's endangered species list following a successful two-decade effort to reintroduce the bird to the state.
The raptor will be removed Sunday from Indiana's list. The falcon's delisting comes after summer surveys found that it's thriving at two dozen Indiana locations.
Department of Natural Resources biologist John Castrale says the peregrine falcon remains a species of special concern and will have the same protections enjoyed by other migratory birds under state and federal laws.
Indiana's peregrine falcon reintroduction program began in 1991 and included releasing the birds in urban areas where tall buildings mimic the falcon's natural cliff-side habitat.
The birds were so decimated by habitat loss and pesticide use that by 1965 no peregrine falcons nested east of the Mississippi River.
We've admired the respectful way the falcons were handled by bridge workers - they were even given names. Tons of steel and concrete have been hauled, hoisted and poured by workers often hanging by harnesses high above the Ohio River. Throughout it all, they never compromised the safety of those falcons.