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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