Acadia Closes Trails for the Mighty Peregrine Falcon

A species reintroduction success story.

  A Peregrine Falcon perched. As recently as the 1980s researchers believed Peregrines had completely disappeared from the Northeast US

A Peregrine Falcon perched. As recently as the 1980s researchers believed Peregrines had completely disappeared from the Northeast US

It is courting season for the Peregrine Falcon, and Acadia National Park is the Shakespearean masquerade site for these terrifying, yet majestic, birds.

This morning Acadia announced the closure of several trails: The Jordan Cliffs Trail, Valley Cove Trail, Precipice Trail, and parts of the Orange & Black Path. These closures will help keep the public away from the nesting areas of the peregrine falcon, as they mate and raise baby peregrine falcons.

Peregrine Falcons nest on cliffs, because they are super metal. The falcons are nested on the Precipice, Valley Cove Cliffs, and Jordan Cliffs.

  A Peregrine watching over its eggs

A Peregrine watching over its eggs

  The Precipe Cliffs in Acadia where Peregrine's are nesting

The Precipe Cliffs in Acadia where Peregrine's are nesting

This trail closure is cause for celebration for one of the most successful reintroductions of an endangered species.

In the mid 1960s researchers believed that the peregrine falcon was no longer nesting in the eastern US. The NPS cites a variety of causes including nest robbing, trapping, and pesticides as causes for the decline in population.

Following the passage of the Endangered Species Act in 1973 (signed by Nixon, who for all his faults, did love the environment) the federal government launched The Eastern Peregrine Falcon Reintroduction Program. The program was so successful that the Peregrine Falcon was removed from the endangered species list.

Acadia National Park has been at the center of the reintroduction of Peregrine Falcons to the Eastern US. The parks cliffs have been become home to artificially introduced Peregrine Falcons beginning in the 1980s. Falcons banded at Acadia have be spotted all over New England, and as far away as Washington D.C.

In other news, Acadia's snake and field mouse population are not terribly pleased with the reintroduction of one of the most intense predators in North America. Instead they are terrified, as they should be.

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