Seasonal Closure Protects Peregrine Falcons
Release Date: Apr 1, 2013
SEQUOIA NATIONAL FOREST The area within ¼ mile of Chimney Rock in the Hume Lake Ranger District, Giant Sequoia National Monument, and Sequoia National Forest is now closed to all entry. The area is a traditional nesting site for Peregrine falcons. The closure will remain in effect until August 15 or until nesting concludes.
Historically, peregrine falcons nested on the cliffs in the Chimney Rock area until the 1970s, when DDT caused nest failures that led to their disappearance. In 1993, peregrine falcons were found using the cliff north of Chimney Rock. Disturbance by humans threatened the nesting success of the birds. To avoid abandonment of the nesting site, a seasonal closure was implemented. Monitoring by volunteers and biologists has found regular use of the area and a need for seasonal closures since that time.
The recovery of peregrine falcon populations in North America has been a great conservation success. After a low point of just two known breeding pairs in California, the birds have rebounded and were removed from the California list of threatened and endangered animals in 2009. However, the nest site near Chimney Rock is the only known peregrine falcon nesting area within the 183,000-acre District. Continued protection of this site is vital to their continued success.
For updated information about the closure and the volunteer monitoring program contact Jeff Cordes, wildlife biologist at (559) 338-2251 x380.