PEREGRINE FALCONS NESTING AT ACADIA NATIONAL PARK
THE PRECIPICE AND VALLEY COVE CLIFFS AND ASSOCIATED TRAILS ARE CLOSED
(Bar Harbor, ME)- Peregrine falcons are once again defending a nesting territory on the Precipice and Valley Cove Cliffs in Acadia National Park. Park staff and volunteers have observed these adults engaging in courtship and pre-nesting behavior signaling the birds’ intentions to nest and raise chicks past the middle of the 2010 summer. Peregrine falcons are identified as a Maine Endangered Species. Mount Desert Island's falcon pairs have become the foundation of Maine's peregrine falcon recovery program with the fledging of more than ninety chicks over the last 19 years.
In order to protect the nesting birds from inadvertent disturbance or harassment, areas in and around the Precipice and Valley Cove cliffs are closed to all visitor and operational activities. The closure at the Precipice includes the popular Precipice Trail on the east face of Champlain Mountain. The mountain section of the Orange & Black Path(formerly the East Face Trail)and the cliff face around these two trails are closed, as well. The closure at Valley Cove includes the Valley Cove Trail (formerly the north section of the Flying Mountain Trail)and the entire cliff area directly west of Valley Cove and below St. Sauveur and Valley Peak. The closed trails are clearly marked with signs that identify the reason for the closure, the dates, and a map that delineates the area of the closure.
These trails will remain closed until approximately five weeks after the chicks take their first flights, or fledge, from their nests. The park will announce the reopening of the closed areas and trails when the park biologist and the State Endangered Species biologist determine that human activities will not disturb the young birds. This usually happens in late July or early August.