Trail Closure for Peregrine Falcon Nesting 2016

Peregrine falcon
Peregrine falcon sitting on The Precipice.

NPS / Kristi Rugg

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News Release Date: March 15, 2016

Contact: Bruce Connery, 207-288-8726

Contact: Rebecca Cole-Will, 207-288-8720

Adult peregrine falcons are again defending nesting territories at The Precipice, Jordan Cliffs, and Valley Cove areas in the park. Once a federally listed endangered species, peregrines were delisted in 1999 because of their highly successful recovery in many places in North America. The species remains listed as an endangered species under the Maine Endangered Species Act.

In order to protect the nesting and pre-fledging periods from inadvertent disturbance or harassment, areas in and around these cliffs have been closed to all visitor and operational activities. Trails bordering the closure remain open. The closed cliff areas are clearly marked with signs at trailheads or trail junctions. These closed nesting areas will remain closed until approximately five weeks after the last chick fledges from its scrape (nest). The opening of these closed areas is expected in late July or early August if the nesting attempt is successful.

Research studies have shown that nesting falcons are particularly vulnerable to human activities that disturb the adults by making them less attentive and caring for the eggs or chicks. Activities in or directed at the nesting area can lead to temporary or permanent abandonment by the adults, leading to hypothermia, starvation, or predation by other birds. Any human disturbance that leads to chick mortality or complete nest failure only slows the recovery of the species in Maine. These three nesting territories all were successful in 2015, fledging a total of seven chicks. Peregrine falcons have raised and fledged more than 125 chicks since the early 1990s.

We will announce the reopening of the closed areas the park biologist and State Endangered Species biologist determine that human activity will not disturb the young birds.

Last updated: March 16, 2016

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