As Young Falcons Move Out Devil’s Tower Climbing Re-Opens
When a nest of Falcon chicks appeared on Devil's tower, climbers began to have a problem. The parents did not want humans that close. The park service closed a total of 47 climbing routs on that side of the tower from spring until just this week. Now the chicks are out of the nest and those climbing routs are open again.
The closures occurred in March were successful in keeping the chicks safe, as well as the climbers from a rather large raptor swooping down on them to protect their nests.
Biologists say that the return of the raptors is a good sign that the falcons were recovering well from a sharp population decline during the 1960s and 1970s.
This breed of falcon was put on the endangered list in 1970 but made an astonishing recovery, ultimately resulting in their delisting in 1999.
The Wyoming Game and Fish Department says that the species has recovered well-above recovery goals, an indication that the species’ nesting population is relatively stable in Wyoming.