UBC Undergraduate Research

Stawamus Chief Provincial Park : monitoring and protection of nesting peregrine falcons from impacts of rock climbing Melanson, Claire


Since 2010, BC Parks has conducted a Peregrine Falcon Monitoring Program in Stawamus Chief Provincial Park. Working in partnership with BC Parks, this report answers the research question: How can BC Parks improve the monitoring and protection of nesting Peregrine Falcons from the recreational impacts of rock climbing on the Stawamus Chief? This final report was completed through literature review, examining a case study of the Colorado plateau, and two expert interviews. The expert interviews were with Pinnacles National Park Raptor Biologist, Gavin Emmons, and a former monitoring program volunteer who wishes to remain anonymous. Please refer to the below table for the three main components of this project, their descriptions, and my recommendations to BC Parks. Project Components: Peregrine Falcon Monitoring Program. Description: The monitoring program runs between March 1st and July 31st, twice a week, for three to four hours a shift The goal of the program is to locate as many nesting falcon pairs as possible so that adjacent climbing routes can be closed Recommendation: Increasing monitoring in March and April may result in more sightings More engagement with the rock climbing community will generate more awareness of the program and hopefully more sympathy for the cause which may result in respecting closures and more reports of falcon sightings to Parks BC. Volunteers. Description: Parks BC’s has struggled to recruit and retain volunteers for the falcon monitoring program since the position is very time consuming and has low reward. Recommendation: Reaching out to local bird watching societies, university students, and rock climbers and outdoor enthusiasts with a wildlife biology or conservation background

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