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State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
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NJ DEPT. OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION NEWS RELEASE
RELEASE: 6/11/01
01/67
CONTACT: Al Ivany or Amy Collings
(609) 292-2084 or (609) 984-1795

WEBCAM SHOWCASES PEREGRINE FALCONS;
THREE CHICKS BANDED

Three endangered peregrine falcon chicks born atop a Jersey City skyscraper met their benefactors today as state wildlife officials banded the chicks and unveiled the state's new nesting box webcam.

When the pair of city-dwelling falcons at 101 Hudson St. was first discovered, the state Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP) Endangered & Nongame Species Program put a nesting box on the roof, and the pair produced two young last year. This spring, another brood hatched, and the webcam was added, with funding provided by a grant from the Verizon Foundation.

"We're grateful to the Verizon Foundation for their generous assistance in allowing us to take advantage of one of the most exciting technological advances of the 21st century which has long-range applications for teaching students and the general public about wildlife," said DEP Commissioner Bob Shinn.

"This exciting webcam project will provide Garden State residents with a rare view of peregrine falcons and an invaluable lesson on endangered species in New Jer sey and the important preservation efforts," said Dennis Bone, president of Verizon New Jersey. "We are pleased to work with the state of New Jersey on this educational project."

The webcam allows anyone with Internet access the ability to view the pair's behavior as they care for the chicks that hatched May 17 atop the LCOR Building. The peregrines can be viewed through the Division of Fish & Wildlife website at www.njfishandwildlife.com or the Conserve Wildlife Foundation website at www.conservewildlifenj.org.

"Now virtually anyone can have a bird's-eye view of the nest and its inhabitants," added Fish & Wildlife Division Director Bob McDowell, who also expressed appreciation to the Conserve Wildlife Foundation, the non-profit organization that supports the division's Endangered and Nongame Species Program. The foundation was the recipient of the Verizon grant.

Conserve Wildlife Foundation Executive Director Linda Tesauro said, "The webcam is an invaluable educational resource for students and teachers. There is so much to learn about New Jersey's endangered wildlife, and we hope this will encourage citizens to take an active role in the stewardship of rare wildlife."

"LCOR is pleased to have had the opportunity to work with the New Jersey DEP's Division of Fish and Wildlife to provide a home for this peregrine falcon family," Executive Vice President and Principal of LCOR, Inc. Kurt Eichler said. "When we first developed 101 Hudson Street in 1990, who would have known that the penthouse suite would become a nesting spot for a rare and endangered species of birds? This effort is another example of how development can successfully co-exist with the natural environment."

As DEP biologists Mark Valent and Kathy Clark banded the three endangered peregrine chicks for future monitoring and research purposes, Shinn praised the Endangered Species Program staff for their innovative conservation management approach that returned the peregrine falcons to the Garden State.

Peregrines were brought from Cornell University's Peregrine program for reintroduction to the Garden State by the Division of Fish & Wildlife's Endangered and Nongame Species Program in the 1980s. There are now approximately 16 peregrine pairs in New Jersey. Nesting birds are continuously monitored, and each year any new offspring are banded by state biologists. Volunteers check the progress of young in the nests from a distance. All nesting peregrines in New Jersey use man-made sites, like tall buildings and bridge spans.

The pair resides at the building, which is the tallest in the state, year-round. During March, they began territorial displays in anticipation of the breeding season. Four eggs were laid in April and hatched in mid-May. One chick died shortly thereafter. The parents will care for the young until they fledge (fly) from the nest in mid-summer. The birds may still be viewed through the webcam after they fledge since they normally return to the nest site periodically after fledging.

In addition to the webcam, a monitor display in the lobby of the building provides employees and visitors with a "live cam" view of the birds as well as background on peregrines and DEP's successful efforts to reintroduce them to New Jersey.

Peregrine falcons became endangered during the 1960s and 70s from pesticide contamination when DDT was widely applied to control insects. DDT is a long-lived poison that accumulates in the food chain and becomes concentrated in winged predators such as falcons, hawks and eagles causing eggshell thinning and death. When DDT was banned, these species rebounded with the help of intense conservation efforts. For updates on the Peregrine Project, visit the division's website at www.njfishandwildlife.com or www.conservewildifenj.org.

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Peregrine with chicks in nestbox

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