Peregrine Falcons Abandoning Blue Ridge Parkway Nests, Human Activity Blamed
Wildlife officials are concerned that peregrine falcons have been abandoning a nesting site along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Tourists approaching the site to take selfies may be to blame.
Cliffs along the Blue Ridge Parkway have long been a stronghold for nesting peregrine falcons, a species that has already been deemed threatened.
So biologists were alarmed to discover the birds have been abandoning one of their favorite nesting sites, the Devil’s Courthouse.
The National Park Service says peregrines have not successfully nested on the overlook since 2007.
Biologists believe that’s because of increased human activity at the cliff. They point to people straying off of marked trails to take pictures.
The News and Observer reports there have been calls to have the popular trail and parking area blocked off until the falcons return.
Peregrine falcons are currently listed as a threatened species in North Carolina, meaning they are close to becoming an endangered species within the foreseeable future.