Commission saves day for peregrine falcon

From Mirror, wire reports

BOLIVAR — The Pennsylvania Game Commission recently fostered an injured peregrine falcon fledgling from the Elizabeth Bridge nest in Pittsburgh to a cliffside nest located in the northeast region of the state.

The nest was selected because it currently has peregrine chick fledglings very close to the same age and stage of development as the injured peregrine chick.

The Elizabeth Bridge peregrine chick was found injured on the bridge and taken to the state permitted Wildlife Works rehabilitation facility in Youngwood on June 3. There the peregrine fledgling was successfully treated for a head trauma injury and cleared by a veterinarian for release.

The Elizabeth Bridge nest had at least two peregrine falcon fledglings. A few days after the injured peregrine was rescued, Game Warden Doug Bergman collected a dead peregrine fledgling from the bridge, evidently hit by a vehicle.

With the largest proportion of Pennsylvania’s peregrine nests found on human structures, it’s inevitable that some conflicts will arise. In an effort to facilitate successful nesting, the PGC closely coordinates with various entities who own and operate structures where peregrine falcons nest in an attempt to ensure potential impacts to nesting peregrines are avoided. Unfortunately, the avoidance of impacts are not always possible. In this case, the fledglings were in close proximity to a high volume of vehicular traffic.

Peregrine falcons are classified as an endangered species in Pennsylvania.

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BEDFORD — A useful publication for hunters and trappers is now available in Rep. Jesse Topper’s Bedford offices.

“We currently have copies of the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Hunter & Trapper Digest available for interested residents,” Topper said. “Those interested in receiving a copy can simply stop by my main district office in Bedford, or any of my satellite offices in the 78th District.”

Topper’s Bedford office, located at 133 S. Richard St., is open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday.

License buyers are no longer given a complimentary copy of the 2018-19 Hunting & Trapping Digest when they purchase a license.

A digital version can be downloaded by going to pgc.pa.gov and clicking on the “Hunting & Trapping Digest” link. However, free copies are available in Topper’s offices.

For more information, contact Topper’s office at 623-9097.

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HARRISBURG — Three years of field study, 165 captured fawns and more than 200,000 trail-camera photos again have demonstrated that Pennsylvania has good, stable fawn survival.

The research, which wrapped up in 2017, was started to see if predators – particularly coyotes – were taking more fawns than documented in a two-year study that began in 2000. The Game Commission and Pennsylvania Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at Penn State collaborated to design the study and conduct fieldwork.

Although the playing field had changed in the study areas when the second study began in 2015 – Pennsylvania had more predators and deer – the results essentially were the same, according to Christopher Rosenberry, who supervises the agency’s Deer and Elk Section.

“There was no evidence that predators were taking too many of our fawns in any of our 23 Wildlife Management Units,” Rosenberry said. “They all have stable or growing whitetail populations. Our field studies have shown repeatedly that predators are the No. 1 cause of fawn mortality, and more often than not, black bears are taking the fawns. But fawn mortality is not causing deer-population reductions anywhere in Pennsylvania.”

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