HomeOutdoorsU.S. National Parks Begin Seasonal Closures to Protect Breeding Wildlife

U.S. National Parks Begin Seasonal Closures to Protect Breeding Wildlife

by Shelby Scott
(Photo by: Dukas/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

It’s nearly spring and love is in the air. With that said, United States National Parks have begun their seasonal closures in order to best protect breeding wildlife. Read on for a general list of closures and dates in relation to regional wildlife.

At a Glance:

  • Most U.S. National Parks began their seasonal closures on March 1st, weeks before the first day of spring.
  • Closures are intended to encourage breeding of endangered and at-risk animals, and only apply to certain areas of various parks.
  • Many closures extend through the end of summer.

National Parks’ Closures Span the Breadth of the U.S.

The U.S. lies home to 63 beautiful and diverse national parks. As such, each park boasts a unique collection of vegetation and wildlife. In order to maintain that diversity, National Park officials have instituted seasonal closures with preservation and conservation in mind.

According to Travel Awaits, the seasonal closures protect a unique collection of animals. These include peregrine falcons in Maine to harbor seals in California, and so many more.

Affected national parks are listed below:

  • Acadia National Park, Maine
  • Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, New Jersey & Pennsylvania
  • Olympic National Park, Washington
  • Point Reyes National Seashore, California
  • Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
  • Zion National Park, Utah

Mating species range from park to park this time of year. For Outsiders planning to head to Delaware Water Gap’s National Recreation Area, know closures are extremely specific and weather dependent. Plans should be made from day to day, considering the forecast.

As per the outlet, the recreation area covers 70,000 acres between New Jersey and Pennsylvania. It is iconic for its waterfalls and numerous hiking trails. That said, it also lies home to 25 various species of frogs, toads, and salamanders as well as peregrine falcons and even bald eagles.

In the case of the region’s amphibians, the Delaware Water Gap recreation area will close on mild, rainy nights between March and mid-April. Click here for further details. As for the falcons, closures remain in effect until May 15th while the bald eagles aren’t to be disturbed until mid-July.

National Park Closures Across the West:

While Acadia National Park and the Delaware Water Gap account for two significant attractions on the East Coast, the outlet named a handful of national parks seeing seasonal closures to the West.

Avid fishermen will have to avoid areas of Olympic National Park in Washington for much of the spring season. Most prominently, national park officials aim to protect the regions’ population of wild steelhead trout, which are reportedly seeing significantly less offspring this season. Protections aim to encourage the species’ migration to various spawning runs.

Along the coast, Point Reyes National Seashore sees various closures in order to protect a large variety of migratory birds, as well as the region’s population of harbor seals. As per the outlet, closures keep the park’s “pupping areas” off-limits from now until June 30th. The park’s birds, including storm petrels, pelagic cormorants, and many others, see protection in various parts of the park until July 31st.

While you can read more on Travel Awaits, many of the National Parks’ closures are intended to protect the nation’s most intriguing bird species, from falcons, condors, and bald eagles, to the smallest spring peepers, amphibians, and fish.