RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - Four young peregrine falcons have been released in Rapid City as part of an effort to re-establish a population of the birds in western South Dakota's Black Hills.

The Birds of Prey Northwest organization and the state Game, Fish and Parks Department have released 44 peregrines since the $10,000 project began in 2010.

Raptor biologist Janie Fink tells the Rapid City Journal (http://bit.ly/126h58M) that the birds will migrate to Central America or South America for two to three years and then hopefully make their way back to the Rapid City area to find mates and build nests.

Peregrines and other raptors were devastated by pesticides years ago, but their numbers have been increasing in the Midwest since efforts to restore them began in the early 1980s.

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