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Zion to close climbing routes to protect nesting peregrine falcons

Starting Sunday, some Zion National Park climbing routes will be closed while biologists help an endangered species through its nesting season.

Park authorities said they are closing the routes at the Utah national park because peregrine falcons, if disturbed, will abandon their nests, according to a news release Tuesday. The peregrines were listed as an endangered species in 1970, the park said.

Climbers will not be allowed to access the following areas: The Sentinel, Mountain of the Sun, Tunnel Wall, Angels Landing, Cable Mountain, The Streaked Wall, Mount Kinesava, North Twin Brother, Middle Fork of Taylor Creek, Mount Spry, The East Temple, Isaac (in the Court of the Patriarchs) and The Great White Throne (beyond single and double-pitched climbs).

All other routes will be open to climbers as normal, the release said.

Officials said if the peregrines don’t use any of the routes to nest, the park will open those routes by early May, the time peregrines will have picked their nesting spots.

The routes that are used for nesting — which the park will announce on its website — could stay closed until late July, when the chicks are ready to leave the nests, according to the release.

Contact Dalton LaFerney at dlaferney@reviewjournal.com or at 702-383-0288. Follow @daltonlaferney on Twitter.

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