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Trails reopen near nesting peregrines

VERMONT — Vermont Fish & Wildlife on Aug. 1 will reopen the cliffs closed to hiking and access earlier this spring to protect nesting peregrine falcons.
“The young peregrines have fledged, and nesting data suggest Vermont falcons had a good year,” said Vermont Fish & Wildlife’s migratory bird biologist John Buck. “This is due, in part, to cooperation from hikers and rock climbers who observe a respectful distance from nesting falcons during this critical period. Peregrine nesting success is also helped by the more than 40 volunteers who monitor the nest sites statewide from March to the end of July.”
According to Audubon biologist Margaret Fowle, who coordinates the monitoring effort on behalf of the Fish & Wildlife Department, biologists and volunteers monitored a record 49 peregrine pairs that occupied Vermont cliffs in early spring and summer. Preliminary results indicate of the 49 pairs, at least 43 pairs nested, and 34 pairs successfully produced a minimum of 61 young. Five new nesting sites were discovered this year, indicating the population continues to expand.
“We greatly appreciate the time and effort volunteers put into monitoring the population this year, and we thank landowners and recreationists for their cooperation in protecting nesting peregrines from human disturbance,” said Fowle.
Vermont Fish & Wildlife and Audubon Vermont partner to monitor and protect peregrine nesting sites in Vermont. Peregrine falcons were removed from the state’s Threatened and Endangered Species List in 2005. Ongoing cooperation from recreationists and continued monitoring efforts by Vermont Fish & Wildlife and Audubon Vermont will help ensure the peregrine’s remarkable recovery in future years.

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