Canadian conservationists beat Conservative government on piping plover

This video is about piping plovers, wintering in Kiawah Island, South Carolina, USA.

“Kiawah Island provides critical wintering habitat for the threatened Atlantic coast population, as well as the endangered Great Lakes Population, of piping plovers.”

From BirdLife:

Piping Plover lawsuit: Canadian government reverses decision


Nature Canada (BirdLife in Canada) has applauded the move by the federal government of Canada to settle an outstanding court case that surrounds the protection of Piping Plover Charadrius melodus.

The move could be the first step towards enhanced protection for many of Canada’s other endangered species, say conservationists.

In December 2006, BirdLife were among those reporting that a coalition of organisations were to file a lawsuit against the Canadian Environment Minister for her ministry’s refusal to identify critical habitat in the recovery strategy of Piping Plover.

“For naturalists, the court case was a last resort that we saw as a choice between doing nothing and risking extinction of not just the plovers, but also Canada’s endangered species protection law,” said Julie Gelfand, President of Nature Canada.

“They’re Back!!” — Piping Plover Pair Sighted on Buzzards Bay Shore: here.

Audubon victory protects Piping Plover on Beaches of NC: here.

Piping plover parents fake a broken wing, luring predators from the nest. You can help protect them: here.

Piping plover chick photo: here.

Piping plover egg project hatching results in Prince Edward Island: here.

7 thoughts on “Canadian conservationists beat Conservative government on piping plover

  1. What’s killing birds? Cats atop New Jersey town’s suspect list


    The Associated Press


    Feral cats gather for mealtime on Friday at Douglas Memorial Park in Cape May, N.J. Volunteers feed the cats daily.

    CAPE MAY, N.J. — Cats are as much a part of Cape May’s beach-town culture as rainbow-color Victorian bed-and-breakfasts, trolley tours and cocktails on the porch at sunset.

    They’re also suspect No. 1 in many deaths of the endangered piping plover, a fist-size, white-and-brown fuzzball of a bird that has closed beaches and stopped development projects in the interest of protecting their habitat.

    With 115 pairs of piping plovers left in New Jersey, the federal government may intervene on the side of the birds, which has set fur and feather flying in Cape May. Cat lovers fear the roaming felines will be euthanized; bird lovers are wary of a rare species being wiped out.

    “This is a very emotional issue; this really is a cat town,” resident Pat Peckham said. “I think they should leave the cats where they are. I’m a firm believer in letting nature take its course.”

    A cat’s nature and its appetite for critters are what have bird enthusiasts concerned.

    Cape May is one of the prime bird-watching spots in all of North America; the World Series of Birding is held here each year. And with bird watching and related expenditures bringing in nearly $2 billion a year to New Jersey’s economy, the feathers may win this fight.

    The plovers, which breed on East Coast beaches during warm weather, nest in sandy, open stretches of beach, making them and their chicks easy prey for a variety of predators, including foxes, gulls, raccoons and cats.

    “I think the cats are more of a nuisance than anything else,” resident Bill Schemel said. “They’re killing endangered birds that belong out here. Cats are not part of the natural environment. They’re here because someone’s cat had a litter and they dumped them out in the woods.”

    So far this year in New Jersey, cats are the prime suspects in the deaths of three endangered birds, including plovers.

    As part of federally mandated beach-management programs, communities with populations of threatened or endangered species are required to prevent the birds from being harmed.

    Biologists said beach closures, twine barriers and other buffers between birds and humans are paying off: Plover populations along the East Coast have rebounded from 722 pairs in 1985 to 1,743 pairs this year, federal officials said.

    Annette Scherer, a senior biologist with the Fish and Wildlife Service, said the agency is studying the situation in Cape May. Possible recommended changes could include asking the city to adopt laws requiring cats to be licensed, prohibiting free-roaming cats or prohibiting abandonment of cats and feeding of wildlife.


    For the past 12 years, Cape May has been attempting to keep its feral-cat population in check through a program known as trap, neuter and release, said John Queenan, the city’s animal-control officer.

    But a May 18 fire destroyed a trailer that a local animal-rescue group had used to house cats for the program, killing 37. A replacement is not ready, and fewer cats are being picked up.

    Eric Stiles, vice president of the New Jersey Audubon Society, is working on a pilot project to find a middle ground.

    The program would bring together animal-control officials with bird- and cat-advocacy groups to share information on known locations of endangered birds and cat colonies. Cats that are near endangered birds could be relocated, while others deemed to be sufficiently far away could continue undisturbed.

    Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company


  2. Birders Prompt Endangered Plover Rescue

    By Important Media (Reporter)

    Tuesday 30 November 2010 15:00:23

    Birders along Michigan’s southwest coast helped prompt a government rescue of an apparently injured Great Lakes piping plover last week.

    The lone bird, marooned near Warren Dune State Park since migration season, was unable to travel to its wintering habitat along the southeast coast of the U.S. Because the Great Lakes piping plover is a federally-listed endangered species with only 60 breeding pairs known in the region, the loss of even one bird is significant. (The Great Lakes population reached a low of 12 breeding pairs in 1983.)

    Notified by the birders who monitored the plover for weeks, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service mist-netted the bird in temperatures in the upper 20s and winds of 30 to 35 miles per hour. Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago will host the bird along with two other plovers. If the rescued plover lasts the winter, it will be released at the State Park in the spring.

    The plover’s stay until late November is believed to be a Michigan record.


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