2012-07-12 / Front Page

Peregrine falcon climbing closures end

After looking at 32 years of data, Yosemite National Park scientists have revised a closure schedule designed to protect peregrine falcons.

Until this year, climbing routes with known peregrine falcon nesting sites remained closed through Aug. 1 to protect young.

This summer, researchers have confirmed that juvenile birds have already fledged from 11 known nest sites. The exception is Medlicott Dome in Tuolumne Meadows--where birds remain about five weeks behind the other sites. Medlicott Dome will remain closed until researchers confirm that its birds have fledged.

Open climbing routes include Arch Rock Area, B.O.L.T. Wall, El Capitan Southwest Face, El Capitan Southeast Face, Glacier Point east side, Half Dome South Face, Kolana Rock, Middle Cathedral Rock, Rhombus Wall, The Rostrum, Wapama Cliff, and Yosemite Point.

"We are monitoring (the Medlicott Dome nest) closely and will promptly lift the closure as soon as the juveniles have fledged and left the cliff area," ornithologist Sarah Stock announced in Yosemite's Daily Report.

Peregrine live all over the world outside of the arctic and have been clocked flying at more than 200 mph. Due to exposure to the pesticide DDT, the species became endangered during the 1970s. The birds are significantly recovered today, however.

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