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SP Crater temporarily closed to public while golden eagles nest

Golden eagle
Babbitt Ranches

SP Crater northeast of Flagstaff is closed to recreationists through May to protect nesting golden eagles. The Arizona Game and Fish Department in collaboration with Babbitt Ranches announced the new restrictions Monday on the CO Bar Ranch property.

Under the closure, target shooting, hunting, trapping and lead ammunition are prohibited. The SP Crater Golden Eagle Conservation Complex was created in 2021, a stewardship agreement with Game and Fish, the Arizona State Land Department and the Landsward Foundation.

Officials say golden eagles don’t like humans near their nesting territories and are known to abandon eggs if they feel threatened.

On average, golden eagle pairs produce one nestling every two years.

Some live in northern Arizona year-round. Others migrate as far north as the Yukon.