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Precipice Trail Opens

Bar Harbor -

BAR HARBOR – The Precipice Cliff area and the Precipice Trail in Acadia National Park will open on Friday, August 13th.  The peregrine falcons that have occupied this nesting territory since February have successfully raised at least one fledgling. The trails were closed on March 24, 2010 to support ongoing recovery efforts for the peregrine falcon in Maine, which is listed as an Endangered Species under the Maine Endangered Species Act.

The fledgling has become less dependent on the cliff and its parents over the last few weeks. Research has shown that nesting falcons are particularly vulnerable to human disturbance originating immediately above the nesting area or directed at the nest site. Continued disturbances can lead to chick mortality or complete nest failure, which further slows the recovery of the species in Maine. The closures of the trails during the nesting season has proven to be successful with nearly 110 chicks fledging (flying) from all cliffs within Acadia National Park over the last 20 years. Over 60 of those chicks have fledged from the Precipice. Biologists within Region 5 of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, in which Acadia National Park is located, have been opening nesting areas on cliffs approximately five weeks after the last chick has fledged. This determination about opening closed areas is based on research that illustrated fledglings were less dependent on the adults or their natal cliff area at or just after five weeks of being able to fly. Although the falcons, both adults and juveniles, are expected to stay in the vicinity of the Precipice Cliff and are likely to be observed by hikers and climbers, hiking and climbing activity is not expected to create disturbances that will harm the adults or the juveniles.

Additional information about the peregrine recovery program and cliff or trail closures is available at the park’s visitor center and headquarters.

For More Information:

Contact Name: Wanda Moran

Telephone Number: (207)288-3338

Website: http://www.nps.gov/acad