SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — After decades of work, wildlife biologists have been so successful in bringing back the peregrine falcon that the powerful raptors now threaten Southern California’s endangered shorebird breeding sites.

As a result, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says it will no longer permit peregrine chick rescues from Bay Area bridges, a move that they concede will likely lead to about a dozen fluffy chicks tumbling into the water below and drowning next spring.

FWS scientist Marie Strassburger says it’s time for nature to take its course.

But a biologist who helped bring the species back says it’s indefensible to ban him from rescuing a handful of chicks.

Peregrines nest high on cliffs, trees, buildings and bridges and hunt by diving at speeds topping 200 mph.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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