Local cliffs to re-open after nesting closure
VERMONT — On August 1, Vermont Fish and Wildlife will reopen the cliffs that were closed to hiking and access earlier this spring to protect nesting peregrine falcons. Several of the closed cliffs are in Addison County.
“The young peregrines have fledged, and nesting data suggest Vermont falcons had a good year. A final report will be issued later this year,” said Vermont Fish and Wildlife’s migratory bird biologist John Buck. “The falcon’s nesting success is due to the combination of good weather and the cooperation from hikers and rock climbers who observe a respectful distance from nesting falcons during this critical period. Peregrine nesting success would not be possible without 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 and Wildlife Department, biologists and volunteers monitored 49 peregrine pairs that occupied Vermont cliffs in early spring and summer. Two new nesting sites were discovered this year but two pairs of falcons did not return to their nest sites in 2016.
“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 and 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 and Wildlife and Audubon Vermont will help ensure the peregrine’s remarkable recovery in future years.
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