INDIANAPOLIS — The peregrine falcon moved a step closer to being removed from the state endangered species list on Tuesday when the Indiana Natural Resources Commission approved the move in the wake of news that wildlife biologists had placed bands on a record 44 chicks this spring.
The move still is subject to review by the attorney general and governor, though — a process that can take more than two months. After that, it would become official 30 days after it is published in the Indiana Register, unless a later effective date is specified.
The 44 chicks that were banded at 15 nesting sites this spring broke the previous record of 38 chicks banded last year, the state Department of Natural Resources announced earlier this month.
Peregrine falcons became endangered decades ago because of pesticides. Indiana started its peregrine falcon reintroduction project in 1991. Peregrine falcons were removed from the federal endangered species list in 1999, but remained on the state list.
Also on Tuesday, the commission recommended adding the round hickorynut mussel to the state endangered species list.
It also approved changing the rabbit hunting season to one statewide season on public and private land to begin Nov. 1 and end Feb. 28, and changing the pheasant hunting season dates to begin Nov. 1 and end Dec. 15. The commission voted to keep the archery season the same, leaving it from Oct. 1 through Jan. 5. All the proposals are subject to review by the attorney general and governor.