• Sierra del Carmen

    Big Bend

    National Park Texas

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Peregrine Falcon Nesting Closure

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Date: January 18, 2013
Contact: David Elkowitz, 432-477-2802

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, "Peregrine falcons are continuing to recover throughout their range, including Big Bend National Park and the Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River.  Protected areas, such as are found within the park, are a key to their continued well-being.  We appreciate the public support and cooperation that we continue to have for protecting these remarkable birds."

Did You Know?

Hikers along the South Rim Trail

In 1944, Big Bend's first year of operation as a national park, only 1,409 visitors entered the park. Today, annual visitation averages around 350,000 visitors. More...