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Federal officials investigate piping plover deaths

post #1 of 53
Thread Starter 
The death of two piping plover chicks earlier this month at Robert Moses State Park has prompted an investigation by federal wildlife officials - and a new protective fence that, for now, blocks off-road vehicle access to fishing spots on the bay side of Democrat Point. Piping plovers are small, federally protected birds that nest on the open beach, leaving them vulnerable to predators and disturbance from beachgoers and vehicles.
The tiny chicks killed at Robert Moses were found dead July 2 in an off-road driving area between the golf course and the park's western tip. Biologists believe the birds were traveling from one nesting spot near the golf course to forage for food at another breeding area by a jetty about a mile west.
"They were found in the tire treads," said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist Steve Papa. "The chicks were about a week old, so they'd be a couple inches long."
Park workers, conservation advocates and volunteers from the Long Island Beach Buggy Association monitor the beach each year for plovers and build string fences to mark off breeding areas that need protection.
But this is the first time plovers were observed in the off-road vehicle area, which usually stays open all season whether or not the birds were breeding nearby, according to a July 13 letter from the service to the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
The letter called the chicks' death "a serious matter," and said the service was investigating. It recommended parks officials close an area by the jetty to vehicles and increase checks to see if plovers are using the larger off-road stretch to travel between breeding grounds.
To prevent further fatalities, park managers have fenced off an area extending about 650 feet around the jetty. Five plover family groups were there earlier this month. The fence went up on Friday, said regional parks director Ronald Foley.
"That effectively closes off more than just that area because it's the route that off-road vehicles would take to the bay side," Foley said. Anglers can still reach that side of Democrat Point on foot, he said.
It is the second time in two years piping plover chicks have been killed by an off-road vehicle at a Long Island state park. Last year, a truck barreled through fencing at Hither Hills State Park and killed a chick, Papa said.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife wants parks officials to more closely monitor the movement of breeding plovers along the beach. If broods that nest there are highly mobile, then the new buffer may have to be increased.
"Knowing now that the birds might take their chicks down to Democrat Point, you can't have off-road vehicle access right there," Papa said.
Foley said he did not anticipate more extensive bans on beach driving at Robert Moses park.
"I've heard a couple of complaints but nothing serious yet," Foley said.
But some anglers said the new fence shrinks parking space and makes it even harder for them to reach fishing spots. "We lost a lot of access as it was because of erosion from spring storms," said Steve Vallone of the Mid-Island Surfcasters club. "It's a big to-do."
post #2 of 53
Moral of this story...if anybody (fisherman) finds a dead Plover...take it and throw it in the trash...so the Hippies won't find it.
post #3 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by googinator View Post
Moral of this story...if anybody (fisherman) finds a dead Plover...take it and throw it in the trash...so the Hippies won't find it.



Why waste 'em? They're excellent on the grill...
post #4 of 53
Quote:
Biologists believe the birds were traveling from one nesting spot near the golf course to forage for food at another breeding area by a jetty about a mile west.


kind of far for a week old flightless chick on 100 degree plus sand to travel.
post #5 of 53
Lets spend a half a million dollars on these birds while people are losing jobs and homeless in this country. I love animals and think all should be protected but this liberal crap has to end.

I read the article in newsday today it was a two page spread. Isn't it possible the birds got killed after the truck went through? Maybe the Montauk monster killed them.
post #6 of 53
All I know is the posts with the string definitley keep the foxs out. The fox population is up because they have a food source that is roped off for them.
post #7 of 53
i think its really good that someone cares....soon we will not have any birds or plants .....just plain conrete buildings
post #8 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by tkfjr View Post
kind of far for a week old flightless chick on 100 degree plus sand to travel.

They MUST have been traveling from the golf course to the jetty because that would be only way they can close off all access to the 4x4s. Anything less, and they could leave a portion of the outer beach open.
post #9 of 53
Does anybody think there's a reason why mother nature does not want these useless little birds? Must be some reason.....right? Why are we protecting the rat birds from their natural predators?
post #10 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by googinator View Post
.so the Hippies won't find it.

Shoot, i bet $1.67 the friggen hippies killed em and put em there. Sacrifice the few for the good of the many.
post #11 of 53
Unbelievable the time,energy and Money spent on these birds! The people involved would rather a hungry person starve than one of those silly birds die.There are plenty of plovers by the way or half of our beaches wouldnt be "roped off"!
post #12 of 53
anybody know the best way to rig plover chicks?!
post #13 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by taylorgilbert View Post
anybody know the best way to rig plover chicks?!


classic
post #14 of 53
funny that they put up all this fencing and instruction for these birds, but not for something like rip-tides, which kill people.



am I the only one to find it odd that the park officials don't hand out brochures about the rip-tides, but piping plovers get treated like royalty.



I think an adjustment of focus is needed here
post #15 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by taylorgilbert View Post
anybody know the best way to rig plover chicks?!



through the eyes, and then into the side. scrunch them up a bit, and it looks like they r flailing.
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