Springtime Is Snowy Plover Nesting Time

Mar 14, 2014

Springtime on the Southern Oregon Coast means more people traveling to beaches to catch some sun, or perhaps fly a kite. But, beachgoers share the sand with the Western Snowy Plover, which means observing new restrictions to ensure a successful nesting season for the endangered species.

A Western Snowy Plover and its nest
Credit friendsofpajarodunes.org

The Western Snowy Plover is a small shore bird that blends in well with sand dunes. Their small nests are found in dry sand areas and can be easily missed. Beginning Saturday, people can expect to see signs and rope that identify nesting areas. Oregon Parks and Recreation Spokesman Chris Havel says it's important to pay attention to the expansion of "no kites, no dogs" restrictions.

Havel: "This year they've been added to Tahkenitch South, it's an area near the Oregon Dunes Nation Recreational Area because the plovers have newly moved into that area."

Havel says dogs have a tendency to disturb plover nests and kites mimic birds of prey.

Havel: "If they see large numbers of kites they tend to react to them by fleeing their nests and running into the same problems with low egg survival when that happens."

Havel says the recovery of the Western Snowy Plover fluctuates because of natural predators and human expansion. They used to populate Oregon Beaches in the thousands. Now there are only a few hundred. The restrictions remain in effect until September 15th.

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