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Flathead Audubon will host Jay Sumner of the Montana Peregrine Institute on Monday from 7 to 9 p.m. in the United Way Conference Room at the Gateway Community Center on Highway 2 West in Kalispell.

The peregrine falcon, considered by most authorities to be the fastest animal on the planet, was almost extinct in Montana in the early 1980s. The peregrine fund, in conjunction with federal, state and private organizations, introduced more than 600 young peregrines into Montana. This introduction kick started the recovery of our peregrine falcons.

In 1999, Sumner and Ralph Rogers, bringing combined raptor research experience of more than 80 years, initiated intensive surveys of the Montana peregrine population with the help of federal and state biologists. Documented over the past 18 years through the efforts of the Montana Peregrine Institute, data have shown that the population of the peregrine falcon in Montana has expanded from 18 nesting pairs in 1998 to over 100 nesting pairs in 2017.

Because the peregrine falcon is an apex predator feeding primarily on riparian birds, they tend to encounter more environmental toxins than do mammals, and peregrines accumulate these more than other raptors. Limited data indicate that the migratory destinations of many peregrines lie south of the American border in regions of the world where regulation of pesticides is virtually unknown.

This event is free and open to the public.

For more information, visit the Flathead Audubon website at flatheadaudubon.org.

Missoulian Staff

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