Watt accused of falcon offense

Secretary of the Interior James G. Watt violated the Endangered Species Act and a 67-nation treaty by permitting the importation and taking of peregrine falcon fledglings -- one of the most endangered species -- by a Boulder, Colo., organization, it is charged by Defenders of Wildlife, a conservation group.

Defenders has called for the immediate termination of a permit issued last month which allows the taking of up to six peregrine falcon eggs from Colorado and the importation of up to 10 wild peregrine falcon fledglings from Baja California, Mexico. The organization has notified the interior secretary of its intent to file suit in US District Court if the permit is not rescinded.

Peregrine falcons sustained severe harm from the insecticide DDT and are in danger of extinction in the lower 48 states and most of Canada and Mexico. There are only 30 breeding pairs in the Baja population.

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