• Sierra del Carmen

    Big Bend

    National Park Texas

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Peregrine Falcon Nesting Closures

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Date: January 13, 2014
Contact: David Elkowitz, 432-477-1108

In August 1999, the Peregrine falcon was removed from the federal endangered species list, a move prompted by the falcon's comeback from the brink of extinction. However, throughout Texas there are less than a dozen known nesting pairs and the falcon remains on the state's endangered species list.

Federal Endangered Species policy requires that Peregrine populations continue to be monitored. National Park Service policies require the protection and preservation of all state-listed species and all species of concern, regardless of federal or state classification. In keeping with this mandate, and to provide the nesting falcons with areas free of human disturbance, Big Bend National Park will again temporarily close or place restrictions on the use of certain park lands.

The areas closed to public entry from February 1 through May 31 are:

  • The Southeast Rim Trail and a portion of the Northeast Rim Trail from the Boot Canyon/Southeast Rim junction to a point just north of Campsite NE-4.
  • All Southeast Rim campsites as well as Northeast (NE) campsites 4 and 5 are closed during this period.

Technical rock climbing on rock faces within 0.25 mile of known peregrine eyries, as posted, will not be allowed between February 1 and July 15.

The park does not plan to close any other areas but restrictions may be modified if Peregrine behavior or nesting sites do not follow traditional trends.

Through the efforts of federal, state and private agencies, the Peregrine has staged a remarkable comeback since it was placed on the federal list in 1970. Superintendent Cindy Ott-Jones remarked, "The small population found in Big Bend National Park and the Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River represents most of the peregrines found in Texas. We appreciate the continued public support and cooperation to protect these remarkable birds."

Did You Know?

Santa Elena Canyon

From the 1930s until the mid-1960s, Santa Elena Canyon was formally known as "Santa Helena Canyon." The National Park Service dropped the H from the name to assist english-speaking visitors in pronouncing the Spanish language name of the canyon.