August 1, 2017
Contact: John Kelly
BAR HARBOR, MAINE – The National Park Service (NPS) will reopen Precipice, Valley Cove, and Jordan cliffs and associated trails in Acadia National Park to public entry on Thursday, August 3, 2017. The NPS closed these areas on March 17, 2017, to protect the peregrine falcons from inadvertent disturbance or harassment during the nesting period.
The protection of the peregrine falcon nesting territories at Precipice, Valley Cove, and Jordan cliffs resulted in the fledging of five chicks this year— compared to 11 last year. Adult peregrine falcons at Precipice and Valley Cove cliffs successfully raised chicks that fledged about five weeks ago and are now independent of both the cliffs and their parents. Although the adults and juvenile falcons are expected to stay in the vicinity of these cliffs through early fall, they are not expected to be negatively affected by visitors.
Research has shown that nesting falcons are particularly vulnerable to human disturbance originating immediately above the nesting area or directed at the nest site. Continued disturbances can lead to chick mortality or complete nest failure, which slows the recovery of the species in Maine. The closure of cliffs and associated trails during the nesting season has proven to be successful with over 125 chicks fledging from cliffs in Acadia National Park over the last 20 years.
“The temporary closures have contributed to another successful breeding year for peregrine falcons in Acadia National Park, and we appreciate the cooperation of visitors in helping to make this possible,” said Superintendent Kevin Schneider. “We encourage visitors to enjoy the hiking trails that have reopened and be sure to keep safety in mind, especially on the Precipice Trail.”