Translated by Pedro Genaro Rodríguez from an article in Ultima Hora
(March 20, 2002)
It's gaining body fat, preparing for its trip back to Canada. The CPF urges people to let him alone so it can complete its mission.
The most recent information of the satellite locates Lightning, the falcon without boundaries that comes from Canada, in the Santiago area. Specifically, it was on Monday at Santiago after is was seen in Navarrete.
"He keeps coming back and forth between Santiago and Villa Bisonó, informed to Ultima Hora naturalist Pedro Genaro Rodriguez, from the Ornithologial Society of Hispaniola, who assured that the falcon was gaining fat in his preparation for initiating the trip back to Canada. Rodríguez explained that he will loose 20% of his body fat. He reiterated the petition of the Canadian Peregrine Foundation in the sense that the falcon should be left alone, without being bothered, since he is about to start his way back.
He also deplored the way people attacked a Red-tailed Hawk in Santiago, mistaking him for Lightning. He also informed that the Red-tailed hawk was living in captivity and that it was very tame so that's the reason why he put himself in danger. The hawk was handed to the National Zoo, until it recovers.
The peregrine Falcon is called the prince of Raptors, because of his strength and velocity. It's a very brave species that can even face eagles if they try to harm their chicks. It's considered the fastest animal on earth, because of its dives that reach 220 mph.
LIGHTNING: His path from Canada to the Caribbean
Lightning is part of a tracking experiment, supervised from Canada to learn more about that species (Falco peregrinus anatum) and its migratory capacity. The researchers have been tracking Lightning from the evening of August 1st, 2001, when it started its flight. He arrived in Dominican Republic last November.
Young peregrines have a high mortality rate in their first two years of life, and Lightning has overcome adversity so far. Still, there's a big challenge ahead of him on his way back, with a path full of dangers. Peregrines do no not reach maturity to breed until the end of their second year, and since they return too late from their wintering retreats, with few partners and occupied territories, the juvenile has to wait until its third year to find its couple and raise a family. In part, this is one of the reasons for the slow recovery of this species.
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