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HARRISBURG, PA - The Pennsylvania Game Commission is soliciting comments on a proposal to revise the status of the northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) from protected to endangered.

The Game Commission Board of Commissioners gave preliminary approval to the listing change at its July meeting, and will consider the proposal for final adoption at its meeting in September.

Those wishing to submit comments about the proposed change may do so until Sept. 5. Comments may be submitted by email to or by mail to: Northern Goshawk Comments, Pennsylvania Game Commission, Bureau of Wildlife Management, 2001 Elmerton Ave, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9707.

Several recent agency-supported efforts to better understand the northern goshawk have documented a dramatic decline in the state’s population. To this end, the agency’s advisory Ornithological Technical Committee (OTC) has recommended the change to endangered status.

A large secretive raptor of mature, mixed forests, the northern goshawk is found in the northern tier and high elevations across Pennsylvania and has experienced both range contraction and breeding population decline over the past 20 years. While the cause of the population decline is not definitively known and continues to be studied, the Game Commission is proposing to take what it considers to be best available action at this time by designating the species as endangered to further protect the remaining populations. Additional research will be undertaken to conclusively identify the factors causing the decline in the population.

The proposed change would tailor protections for the species, including limiting or delaying certain activities within known breeding northern goshawk habitat during courtship and nesting seasons; limiting falconry take of the species; developing and managing a recovery plan; and committing additional resources toward recovery.

MEDIA CONTACT: Travis Lau - 717-705-6541

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