BAR HARBOR — Peregrine falcons are again defending nesting territories in Acadia National Park. The Jordan Cliffs Trail, Precipice Trail and a portion of the Orange & Black Path will close to public entry on March 17 until further notice.
Park staff have observed adults at these sites engaging in courtship and pre-nesting behavior signaling the birds’ intentions to nest and raise chicks during the spring and early summer. The National Park Service has closed the cliffs and associated trails to public entry to protect the peregrine falcons from inadvertent disturbance or harassment during the nesting period.
“Peregrine falcon reintroduction is one of Acadia’s major conservation success stories,” said Bik Wheeler, a park wildlife biologist. “Allowing these iconic birds to breed undisturbed underscores our commitment to protecting ecological integrity.”
Research has shown that nesting peregrine falcons are particularly vulnerable to human activities, which can disturb the adults and make them less attentive to the eggs or chicks. Human activities near a nesting area can lead to temporary or permanent abandonment of the nest by the adults leaving chicks susceptible to hypothermia, starvation and predation. Human disturbance that leads to chick mortality slows the recovery of this once endangered species.
Signs at trail heads and trail junctions around the closed areas indicate where public entry is prohibited. The reopening of the closed areas is expected when nesting attempts succeed or possibly sooner if nesting attempts fail. Public entry into a closed area is a violation of federal regulations, which is punishable by a fine, imprisonment or both.
To learn more about peregrine falcons, visit www.nps.gov/articles/peregrine-falcons-in-acadia.htm.