Avians, Hydrophilic Hearts

Playing I Spy with Piping Plovers

It’s Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus) nesting season!! You have probably started to notice the “symbolic fencing” at some of your local parks and beaches. Plovers tend to nest from mid March to around Labor day. The symbolic fencing protects the nesting plovers from people and vehicles. Once a nest has been established, enclosures are placed around the nest to protect from potential predators. The enclosures have holes small enough to let the plovers through, but not anything else. Scientist then monitor the plovers (from a safe distance) to check if the population is increasing or decreasing. These measures are taken because the piping plover is protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and was listed in 1985.

piping plover fencing
An example of the symbolic fencing used to protect plovers. Note the enclosure in the background.

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Hydrophilic Hearts, Mollusks

Queen Conch – A Bahamian Royalty

Picture1This past winter I participated in a Tropical Marine Ecology course at the Cape Eluthera Institute (CEI) on Rock Sound, Bahamas. On my first snorkeling adventure a brightly colored shell caught my eye. It was a juvenile Queen Conch! During our stay we were assigned to present on a conservation topic. Being in the Bahamas I wanted to learn more about the culture. It was brought to my attention that the Queen Conch (Strombus gigas) was an endangered species. CEI was decorated with queen conch shells that had washed up on the beach.  I learned so much about them, and I would be lying if I didn’t tell you that snails hold a special place in my heart. (I would like to blame Gary from Spongebob). This species is predominately found in the Caribbean (so its far from what I call home). It’s important to remember that conservation is something that is necessary world-wide. Continue reading “Queen Conch – A Bahamian Royalty”