Railing Challenge Causes Partial Path Closure in Banff

The railings alongside the Johnston Canyon Path assist shield nesting Black Swifts and vegetation/Parks Canada

To assist shield endangered Black Swifts nesting in Johnston Canyon, Parks Canada is changing and lengthening pedestrian railings on the Johnston Canyon Path in Banff Nationwide Park.

Because of this till late fall, the higher portion of the path between the Decrease Falls and Higher Falls shall be closed and there received’t be any entry to the Higher Falls. P1, the path’s essential car parking zone, shall be partially closed so guests ought to contemplate taking Roam Public Transit (Route 9).

Railings encourage guests to remain on the designated path and chorus from trampling vegetation, Parks Canada says.

Black Swifts are the biggest swift in North America, can stay as much as 16 years and should mate for all times. They’ve black plumage, lengthy and pointed wings and a singular notched tail. They usually stay in small crevices inside caverns or cliff faces, the place they construct small, mossy nests and lay only one egg.

These birds survive the place only a few animals can, together with in canyons of this Alberta park. However they’ve confronted an estimated 50 per cent lower in inhabitants since 1973. The hen was designated as an endangered species below Canada’s Species at Threat Act in 2019 and Parks Canada has made the safety of this species a high precedence.

Johnston Canyon is one in all solely two recognized nesting areas in Banff. Parks Canada says the swifts will seemingly return yearly to the identical nesting websites, “however provided that they’ve the area and safety to nest with out disruption.”

An grownup Black Swift on its nest in Banff’s Johnston Canyon/Parks Canada

To stability visitation with the wants of the Black Swifts, Parks Canada has:

• Issued a Restricted Exercise Order from Might 1 to November 15 to stop off-trail entry.
• Elevated indicators and markers reminding guests to remain on the path, and elevated fencing to indicate guests the place they’ll go.
• Elevated monitoring within the closed areas.
• Elevated workers on web site on the canyon and elevated on-line info to coach guests.

5 energetic Black Swift nests had been confirmed in Johnston Canyon in 2021 — the best quantity since 2004. Three nesting pairs had been noticed in 2020, whereas just one or two energetic nests had been recorded between 2005 and 2019. As much as 12 energetic nests had been counted yearly within the Seventies and early Eighties.

In Banff, Black Swifts and their nests are protected by legislation below the Nationwide Parks Act, the Migratory Birds Conference Act and Canada’s Species at Threat Act. Individuals who disturb them and their occupied or unoccupied nests may be charged and fined.


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