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Latest News and Upcoming Events

Centennial BioBlitz at Pinnacles National Monument · The Future of Fixed Anchors · April 2016 Raptor / Climbing Closures Update

Calling All Citizen Scientists: Centennial BioBlitz at Pinnacles National Monument (5/19/2016)

Citizen scientists needed to help National Park Service on a quest to discover living organisms

Volunteers of all ages invited to join park rangers and scientists in a national BioBlitz

Paicines – Pinnacles National Park will be hosting a Centennial BioBlitz - a treasure hunt to discover living organisms – May 21, 2016.

Park rangers and scientists will lead volunteers of all ages and backgrounds as citizen scientists for a day, developing a “snaphshot” of biological information in the park by counting and identifying plant and animal species using the iNaturalist app, cameras and field guides. Join us for biodiversity hikes, self-guided expeditions, a festival with hands on science activities and an evening moth survey.


Local residents, scientists, scouts, youth and naturalists
Centennial BioBlitz
Pinnacles National Park
Eastside Visitors Center
2400 Pinnacles Hwy
Paicines, CA 95043
Saturday May 21 from 8:30- 4:30 pm and 8:30 pm- 10 pm

This BioBlitz is part of a nationwide effort coordinated by the National Park Service to celebrate the centennial and events are happening all along the west coast and out into the pacific islands! From Canada to Mexico, from the Sierra to American Samoa, there is a BioBlitz happening in a park close by. This is a great opportunity to get up close and personal with nature, possibly discover something new, and find your inner ranger for a day. For more information visit: FindYourPark.com

For event information phone or email Jan Lemons, 831-389-4486 X237

The Future of Fixed Anchors (5/19/2016)

On April 1st and 2nd the Access Fund and Petzl teamed up to conduct the Future of Fixed Anchors II conference to Las Vegas.

The conference brought together a broad cross-section of climbing advocates, outdoor industry professionals, and climbers who are actively developing climbs and maintaining anchors at America’s crags. The conference addressed the concern of aging climbing bolts and outlined a vision for the future of sustainable fixed anchor maintenance and replacement in the United States. The conference included a combination of formal presentations, panel discussions, hands-on demonstrations and social gatherings.

For all the gory details, INCLUDING video footage of our own Bruce Hildenbrand demoing bolt removal, check out the Access Fund Web site.

April 2016 Raptor / Climbing Closures Update (4/15/2016)

Hey Everyone -

Here is an update on raptor activity at the park in March to early April as the breeding season develops.

Prairie falcons (PRFA) and peregrine falcons (PEFA) have reoccupied historical breeding areas and are proceeding to lay and incubate eggs. So far, 8 PRFA pairs have been observed (with 6 nests confirmed) as well as 2 single birds in different territories, and 2 PEFA pairs are occupying territories at Hawkins Peak and General Balconies. These are listed below:

  • Resurrection Wall: PRFA nesting pair confirmed
  • Teapot Dome / Egg: PRFA nesting pair confirmed
  • Hawkins Peak: PEFA pair confirmed
  • General Balconies / Machete: PEFA nesting pair confirmed
  • Crowley Towers: PRFA nesting pair confirmed
  • Canton North of Willow Spring: PRFA nesting pair confirmed
  • North Chalone Peak: PRFA nesting pair confirmed
  • South Chalone Peak: PRFA pair confirmed
  • Drywall Slide: PRFA pair confirmed
  • Citadel: Single PRFA confirmed, pair possible
  • Frog / Hand / Piedras Bonitas / Prescribed Burn Cliffs: Single PRFA confirmed, pair possible

The following territories are currently unoccupied, with no prairie falcons observed within them:

  • Pig Canyon
  • North Balconies
  • Scout Peak
  • Western Front
  • Discovery Wall
  • Pipsqueak Pinnacles
  • Yaks / Little Pinnacles
  • Tugboat
  • D. Soto Canyon
  • Guard Rock
  • Rocks West of Chalone Housing
  • Mating Rocks / Tugboat
  • NE Section 15
  • North Wilderness Rock
  • South Wilderness Rock
  • Marion Canyon / Narrows

So far, documented PRFA occupancy has been a bit lower for the 2016 season compared to past years, but we will continue to conduct surveys to determine if PRFA pairs arrive late to currently unoccupied territories.

Please note that climbing and hiking advisories are in effect and have been revised as of March 2016. Posters placed on the bulletin board fixtures near the Juniper Canyon trailhead and the Moses Spring trailhead will be updated soon, and advisory signs have been placed near relevant climbing / off-trail hiking areas. Advisory handouts are up to date and should be available in the Visitor Center and Visitor Contact Station, and are also available on the PINN website.

In addition to PRFA and PEFA, other raptor species have been confirmed nesting in and around the park as well, including red-shouldered hawks (2 nests), red-tailed hawks (1 nest), golden eagles (1 nest), American kestrels (1 nest), long-eared owls (2 nests), and great-horned owls (1 nest). More raptor pairs should be settling in to nest in the next couple of weeks, so we'll keep you updated.

I want to extend a special thanks to Emma Cox and Megan Gnekow for their raptor monitoring efforts this season. Emma is working as a wildlife intern and Megan is a long-time raptor monitoring volunteer. Both have made excellent raptor observations and have confirmed some valuable nesting records so far in 2016. Feel free to let any of us know if you have any questions or observations to report.

Thank you to all the staff who have continued to provide me with raptor observations; every detail on raptor behavior helps to provide a more complete picture of raptor breeding at the park. If anyone on staff wishes to report raptor observations, I would greatly appreciate it if you please fill out a wildlife observation card, and deposit it in my box in the RRM Office.

If you have any observations within the park to report, or any raptor-related questions, you can also feel free to contact me through email or extension 276. Thanks!

GAVIN EMMONS * Raptor / Condor Biologist *
5000 Highway 146, Paicines, CA 95043 * 831-389-4486 x276 *
Pinnacles National Park

Upcoming Events

FOP Organized Events

This is where we post the details for upcoming Friends Of Pinnacles sponsored events and activities. Please check back often to see if there is anything new in which you may want to participate.

Park Programs

The Park Service organizes activities and events throughout the year. For details see the Events Calendar for Pinnacles National Monument or call: (831) 389-4485 ext. 0, between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

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