GILLETTE, Wyo. (AP) — Some rock climbing routes on Devils Tower in northeastern Wyoming have been closed to protect nesting falcons.
The closures, which remain in effect until young falcons fledge, give peregrine and prairie falcons an undisturbed area for courtship, nest selection and nesting, according to the National Park Service.
The annual closures also protect climbers. Falcons sometimes fly aggressively at people to protect their nests, the Gillette News Record reported.
The closed routes are between those named “Good Holds for Godzilla” and “Accident Victim” and will be listed at a climber registration kiosk near the Devils Tower National Monument visitor center. More than 100 other climbing routes remain open.
Devils Tower is an almost 900-foot (274-meter) igneous rock formation known for its role in the 1977 science fiction film “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.”
All climbers must register with park officials before attempting to climb the tower.