Nesting Raptors In Rocky Mountain National Park

Red-tailed Hawk photo courtesy Ann Schonlau

Rocky Mountain National Park.

Each year to protect raptor nesting sites, Rocky Mountain National Park officials initiate temporary closures in areas of the park. To ensure that these birds of prey can nest undisturbed, specific areas within the park are closed temporarily to public use during nesting season and monitored by wildlife managers. Due to high nesting activity last year closures will begin earlier this year on February 15 rather than March 1. These closures will continue through July 31, if appropriate. These closures may be extended longer or rescinded at an earlier date depending on nesting activity.

A new closure is being implemented in the Loch Vale area which includes Cathedral Wall. The areas above the Loch Vale-Sky Pond Trail are closed to off trail travel. In the Lumpy Ridge area closures include Checkerboard Rock, Lightning Rock, Batman Rock, Batman Pinnacle, Sundance, Thunder Buttress, The Parish, The Book, and Twin Owls, Rock One. These closures include the named formations. Closures include all climbing routes, outcroppings, cliffs, faces, ascent and descent routes and climber access trails to the named rock formations. Check the park’s website at www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/area_closures.htm for updated information on raptor closures.

The National Park Service is committed to preserving birds of prey. If nest sites are located or territorial behaviors such as aggressive divebombing/vocalizing or birds fleeing nest sites due to human disturbance are observed, please report the general location to ROMO_Information@nps.gov.

The same cliffs that are critical for raptors also appeal to climbers. The cooperation of climbing organizations and individuals continues to be essential to the successful nesting of raptors in the park.

For further information on Rocky Mountain National Park, please visit www.nps.gov/romo or call the park’s Information Office at (970) 586-1206.

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