DPC - Piping Plover Chicks (endangered species).
There were three Piping Plover chicks born on Conrads Beach Nova Scotia about two weeks ago. They are still flightless and there is no sign of an adult, so they are very vulnerable. Local birders and park wardens are trying to keep them protected as they are an endangered species. There are less than 50 pairs of adult Piping Plovers remaining in Nova Scotia. Conrads Beach is a huge beach stretching about 2 or 3 kms long. A section of about 1/2 a km. has been cordoned off where the nest is. Surprisingly, this has met with mixed results from the public. Most people are happy to help out, but a few people resent giving up any of the beach for a couple of weeks to allow the chicks to survive.
There have been about 70 volunteers monitoring the chicks and trying to get the message out, but some people have the attitude of 'So what, who cares'. One local birder had to chase people from playing volleyball right where the nest was in the well-marked area. The other night someone tried burning the signs and setup a bonfire in the middle of the nesting grounds. Another fear is people letting their dogs run wild on the beach chasing shorebirds when they really should be leashed. Explaining why dogs should not chase the birds has also met with hostile resentment from a few dog owners. The wardens said the whole issue is a political hotbed. I find it ironic that people who claim to love animals will not tolerate being denied a small patch of beach for 2 to 4 weeks until the chicks are able to take flight.
15 August 2009.
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