Climbing routes reopen after falcons fly at Devils Tower

Climbing routes temporarily closed to protect nesting falcons have been reopened after peregrine falcon chicks successfully fledged from their nests on the Tower. Routes on the southeast face and the southeast edges of the Tower summit, including the east side of the Meadows, the standard Meadows finish, and 31 routes between “Hollywood and Vine” and “Belle Fourche Buttress” are reopened. “Young peregrine falcons were observed feeding and flying well and are no longer dependent on their nesting areas.” said Tim Reid, Superintendent.

Earlier this year climbing routes were temporarily closed to provide an undisturbed nesting location and also protect climbers from adult falcons who might defensively dive in order to protect their nests.

Peregrine falcons experienced sharp population declines in the 1960s and 1970s, primarily due to widespread use of the insecticide DDT. Peregrine falcons, listed as endangered in 1970, made a remarkable recovery and were removed from the endangered species list in 1999. The return of peregrine falcons to Devils Tower in 2013 is another sign that the species is recovering well and continues to be a great conservation success story.