• Photo: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Wikimedia Commons

A record number of peregrine falcons were born in Quebec in the summer of 2015, prompting hopes that the bird could be removed from Canada’s list of wildlife species at risk in 2017.

"The United States took it off its endangered species list in 1999,” François Shaffer, a Canada Wildlife Service biologist told the CBC, which reported that all 25 of the birds born in the province last summer survived. “They are also present in Canada's North. We don't know the size of the populations in the North in comparison to the southern areas, but the numbers are now relatively large.”

The resurgence of the peregrine is remarkable, given that the species had been decimated by the widespread use of the insecticide DDT after the Second World War. The population began to increase slowly in the 1970s, after DDT was banned in Canada, but the bird’s fate was still uncertain. For instance, the CBC report said that in 1980 there was one peregrine falcon couple in southern Quebec, a number that has increased to 196 today.

The CBC said that Canada re-evaluates its endangered and protected species list every 10 years, and that the final decision about whether to revoke the bird's endangered status should be taken in 2017.