News 2016

Title:  Help protect peregrines
Date:  10/06/2016

Help Protect Peregrines

There are still late clutches of peregrines at some crags and continued co-operation is needed from climbers so that these birds can rear their young successfully.

As disturbance places unnecessary stress on the birds and interrupts their ability to hunt and supply their chicks adequately, Mountaineering Ireland is calling on climbers to withdraw as soon as possible if a bird reacts to your presence (e.g. by screeching, circling or dive-bombing). This is a critical stage in the breeding cycle for peregrines and they should be given a wide berth until the chicks are fully fledged and able to fly properly. 

The peregrine, which is protected under European and national legislation, is the fastest creature on the planet, and can dive at speeds of up to 320km/h to strike its prey. When not attacking, the peregrine flies with a series of short wing beats and alternating glides, tilting to show its pale under-feathers and broad pointed wings.


Peregrines prey on smaller birds such as duck or pigeon, and have at times been subject to persecution. National Parks & Wildlife Service Conservation Rangers, who have responsibility for wildlife protection in the Republic of Ireland, have acknowledged the role that climbers play in protecting peregrines and other cliff-nesting birds. This support is greatly appreciated as the service is currently under-staffed.


Continued vigilance and responsible behaviour by all climbers will allow peregrines and other birds to breed successfully. If you see human disturbance or suspicious activity at a nest, contact the local NPWS Conservation Ranger (see www.npws.ie/contact-us or email nature.conservation@ahg.gov.ie), or in Northern Ireland report it to the PSNI on 101 and ask for a C&C reference number.

Photo: Anthony McGeehan

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