Tom Maechtle (1958-2016)

A founding member and Director of Earthspan, Tom directed our Padre Island Peregrine Falcon Survey for 20 years.  A talented biologist and internationally recognized authority on tundra peregrine falcons, he passed away unexpectedly in December 2016 at the age of 58. Tom was keenly interested in falconry and falcons since his early teen years, and naturally gravitated to The Peregrine Fund’s hawk barns in Ithaca. His projects there included fostering captive-raised peregrine chicks into nest boxes of unproductive pairs. In 1981 he lent his energy and expertise to the Greenland Peregrine Falcon Survey, becoming an indispensable team member for almost two decades. A key figure in many Earthspan projects, he also worked alongside us on peregrine studies in Alaska, Mexico, South America and Russia. He authored or co-authored many scientific publications, built his highly successful Bighorn Environmental Consultants firm in Sheridan, WY, mentored scores of young biologists, very successfully bred and hunted with gyrfalcons, and still found time for a rewarding family life with daughter Ireland and wife Kathy. Tom was a brother and steadfast friend, and his importance in our lives and those of countless others cannot be measured. The Earthspan family will forever feel the incalculable personal and professional loss of this seminal figure in peregrine research. As our important projects continue Tom’s influence, ethic and spirit will always be an integral part of them.