What is FalConNet?

FalConNet is a platform through which citizens and government can gain a better understanding of falconry and the conservation work of falconers throughout the world. By virtue of this work, and its unique cultural heritage, falconry is the Intangible Cultural Heritage most widely supported by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). This site has been created by IAF with help from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), as part of a process to safeguard falconry for UNESCO.


FalConNet is primarily focused on how falconers utilize falconry principles and best practices to contribute to conservation. The work of falconers in the past, for instance to establish domestic breeding populations to restock areas where species had gone extinct in the past (Peregrines falcons in the DDT era, then California Condors and now Gyps vultures) can be seen as part of a culture of expert research-based innovation which is indispensable for conserving raptors. As an outward face to the world, FalConNet provides the opportunity to share what we see and what we love, as falconers and conservationists.


Falconry is much more than a method of harvesting game. It is one of the oldest forms of hunting known to humans, and has survived nearly unchanged through the ages.


Raptors are innately wild creatures, yet through training and hunting with a bird of prey, the falconer develops a partnership with his or her bird, and becomes immersed in their world. It is an ancient art that is at least 5000 years old, and is embedded in the cultural fabric of Old World civilizations dating from antiquity to present day.


In recognition of its place in human and cultural evolution, falconry is recognized by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Falconry spread to the New World likely during the era of exploration, and continued to evolve in relation to various national and regional cultures.


The concept of conservation through sustainable use is inherently achieved in falconry. The ancient and historic practice of falconry involved capturing raptors in their first year of dispersal or migration to train for hunting through the fall and winter. Birds of prey were returned to the wild once again in the spring.


Impacts on game species hunted are also unavoidably lower, compared to other forms of hunting. These interactions exemplify sustainability, yet they also lead to profound and inspirational experiences for falconers.

Regardless of geographic location, the elements unique to falconry have similar effects on falconers. It is no wonder then, that some of the earliest historical examples of active raptor conservation, and contributions to science, can be attributed to Old World falconers.


Although falconry in the Americas is young in a global context, the pioneering contributions made by falconers to the conservation of raptors are noteworthy. AmFalCon.org was developed with support from the IUCN Sustainable Use and Management of Ecosystems Group (SUME) and the International Association for Falconry & Conservation of Birds of Prey (IAF) to share, promote and inspire raptor conservation by falconers in North, Central and South America.


To find out more about this project, click on the following link.