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Environment & Climate Change

Peregrine falcons are thriving in southeast Michigan

a peregrine falcon on a branch
Becky Matsubara
/
Flickr
Peregrine falcons have come back from near extinction in the state to 15 nesting pairs in southeast Michigan alone.

Peregrine falcons are making a comeback in southeastern Michigan, according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

The birds became endangered in the mid-20th century because of pesticides like DDT. But now, the population has grown from near extinction to 15 nesting pairs in southeast Michigan alone.

Holly Vaughn is with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. She says peregrine falcons are a natural predator in Michigan.

"So bringing them back has been important to the ecology of southeast Michigan," Vaughn said.

The MDNR says there were 54 peregrine falcon nest sites across Michigan in 2016. That might not seem like a very big number, but Vaughn says the birds are a Michigan success story.

"We actually have more peregrine falcons in Michigan now than we did before DDT," she said.

The MDNR says peregrine falcons thrive in cities like Detroit because they like to nest on high buildings.

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