Peregrine Falcons Are Doing Better

Mark Enders | Nevada Department of Wildlife

Lake Tahoe organizations working to harmonize wildlife protection and responsible recreation reported a successful effort to protect fledgling peregrine falcons while still allowing access to popular hiking and climbing routes near the birds’ nesting sites. For the second year in a row, young peregrine falcons successfully left their nest at Castle Rock, it was announced in a press release.

The success of the nest is being attributed to a collaboration between Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, Nevada Department of Wildlife, California Tahoe Conservancy, Tahoe Institute for Natural Science, Sierra Ecotone Solutions, Tahoe Climbing Coalition and Tahoe Rim Trail Association to educate climbers and hikers about their impact. Peregrine falcons have been monitored as a special interest species dating back to 2009.

Over the years of monitoring, falcon populations increased and expanded to new areas of the Tahoe Basin such as Castle Rock, also a popular location for rock climbers and hikers. The partners worked together to educate climbers and hikers, temporary trail closures, posted signs when the birds were nesting and monitoring the nests.

“Lifting the closure once it’s no longer needed each year gains the confidence of the hikers and climbers using the area, building trust that these voluntary closures are not arbitrary, which in turn leads to better compliance and better outcomes for the birds,” said Will Richardson, executive director of Tahoe Institute for Natural Science, in the release. “This was the first year they raised triplets.”