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Yosemite National Park Protects Peregrine Nesting Areas

Yosemite National Park is home to several pairs of Peregrine Falcons (Falco peregrinus) and other raptor species. Activities such as climbing can disturb the nesting habits of these birds. In some years the peregrine nests fail to fledge young falcons.

The Superintendent of Yosemite National Park is designating the peregrine nest cliffs as areas closed in Yosemite National Park to visitor use, including climbing, until peregrine chicks have fledged in 2004. The nests will be monitored and notices posted when the areas reopen.

The following areas are identified as cliff faces closed to visitor use and climbing:

The Rostrum: An active aerie was identified in 2001 on the North Face of the Rostrum, a cliff located in the lower Merced River Canyon. The protection area extends to all climbing routes on all sides of the Rostrum. In addition, all climbing routes to the east of the Rostrum, from Super Nova to the Rostrum are closed to climbing. All routes on the Jungle Gym and areas further west remain open.

Rhombus Wall: Protection includes the areas between the Ahwahnee Ramps east to Super Slide. Die Schweine Von Oben is also a protection zone. Nesting has succeeded here since 1992.

Glacier Point area: The cliff face between the east edge of Glacier Point Apron and Illilouette Gorge is designated for protection. Climbing may take place below 200 vertical feet from the base of the cliff.

Hetch Hetchy: Closure includes Kolana Rock and the rock face immediately west of Wapama Falls.

Helicopter and other aircraft should avoid operating within 1/2 mile of these areas, unless aircraft use is necessary to protect human life. This closure will remain in effect until August 1, 2004 or until the young falcons of this year have fledged.

Peregrine falcons have slowly been recovering from population decline and continue to be evaluated as part of a 13-year monitoring program. Visitor compliance with these closures will help safeguard these beautiful birds that make Yosemite´s cliffs their home.