Sandoval Signpost


An independent monthly newspaper serving the community since 1988

Dave Harper

If you lose or find an animal in Placitas area, call the Animal Hotline at 867-6135. The Hotline is a nonprofit service run by Dave and January Harper to help reunite lost and found pets. Placing a Lost or Found in the Animal Hotline is a free service courtesy of the Signpost—we can sometimes even include a photo. Call Dave and January at 867-6135 or 263-2266 and leave a detailed message, or email the Animal Hotline at: (but call, too).


DOG: Female Boxer-mix that weighs about seventy pounds. Owner thought dogcatcher might have picked her up on April 11 in Placitas. #4046


DOG: Female Pit Bull puppy, about four months old with collar. She was found March 26 near Rosa Castilla and half mile West of Tecolote Road in Placitas. #4047


DOG: Male, big, brown German Shepherd-type mixed breed. Last seen near Highway 165 and Overlook Drive in Placitas on March 29. #4048


Animal News


Lalo’s pet prints:

Lalo loves to receive your pet and animal photos to print in the Signpost.
Email them to “Lalo” at:
Or mail prints to: Signpost, P. O. Box 889 Placitas, NM 87043

Hey Lalo, Look who came to get a drink!

A lot of critters around my house!—day AND night.

Even one angry squirrel!

The Peregrine Falcon—a success story

—U. S. Forest Service

Besides being one of the fastest and most distinctive birds of prey, the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) is also a success story, a symbol of threatened and endangered species recovery.

The peregrine has long pointed wings like other falcons, is roughly crow sized, and adults are slate gray on the head and back with pale undersides and distinguishing “sideburns” or stripes on the side of the face. They use ledges on high, remote cliff walls for nesting and feeds primarily on birds, sometimes being referred to as the “duck hawk,” often catching prey in mid-flight. When diving, peregrine falcons may reach speeds in excess of two hundred miles per hour. They have one of the longest migrations of any North American bird, traveling up to fifteen-thousand miles a year from the Arctic tundra to Patagonia. The peregrine is one of the most prized birds by falconers, who have been training them for hunting game for over a thousand years.

The peregrine has one of the greatest distributions of any bird in the world, can be found on all the continents except Antarctica, and historically ranged throughout North America, with few natural threats. During the 1900s, human factors such as indiscriminate shooting, the taking of eggs and young by collectors and falconers, poisoning by the pesticide DDT, and habitat destruction contributed to the decline across much of its historic range. Nesting peregrine falcons were extinct in the eastern United States by 1964, leading to their listing as an endangered species in 1970.

Cooperative partnerships and recovery efforts such as banning the use of DDT, captive breeding programs, and subsequent releases into the wild were very successful. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) removed the species from the Federal list of threatened and endangered species in 1999, making it one of the Endangered Species Acts most dramatic success stories. Coordinated population monitoring continues through 2015.

Despite this success, concerns for the peregrine falcon’s long-term persistence remain. After delisting, it continued to be a FWS Species of Concern. In New Mexico, it is listed on the state endangered species list as Threatened and is identified as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need in the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy. It is also listed as “imperiled in NM because of rarity or because of some factor(s) making it very vulnerable to extirpation from New Mexico.” For the Forest Service, it is on the Regional Forester’s Sensitive Species List for the Southwestern Region, which includes the Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands, and is among the proposed Species of Conservation Concern for the Cibola’s ongoing Forest Plan revision efforts.

Current threats include killing, capture for falconry, and loss of nesting habitat. While it has lost some federal protection, the peregrine falcon still is protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Current mortality factors include human disturbance at nest sites, which has prevented the re-occupancy of some historical eyries. Peregrines exhibit extreme site fidelity, meaning they breed in and return to the same territory or area for their entire lives. The sport of rock climbing has made some former nest sites unusable. Many high profile areas such as Yosemite and Zion National Parks and Adirondack Rock continue to implement seasonal closures to visitor use including climbing and slack line activities due to the peregrine’s sensitivity to disturbance during the nesting season. Help and support by the public in cooperation and compliance with any temporary restrictions is essential to the continued success of the recovery of this species.


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