Thursday, May 28, 2009

WANTED: Plover Snatchers

Posted By on Thu, May 28, 2009 at 11:05 AM

click to enlarge snowy_plover.jpg

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is looking for two people caught on camera on May 9, in the afternoon, removing western snowy plover eggs from a nest at Clam Beach.

The bird's Pacific Coast population is listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act, and their nesting places at Clam Beach are clearly marked by signs and fencing to let people know where not to wander during nesting season, which is March through December.

Says the USFWS's news release, issued this morning:

A temporary wildlife monitoring station used to document nesting activity at plover sites captured footage ... of two individuals, believed to be women, flushing the incubating adult plover off the nest, and then taking what appear to be three un-hatched eggs.

If you saw the May 9 incident, call the USFWS Office of Law Enforcement: (916) 414-6660.

And here's the news release, with pics of the perps .

Randy Brown, Acting Field Supervisor for the Service's Arcata Fish and Wildlife Office (Arcata FWO), says wreckage of snowy plovers and their nests is on the rise, with three nests demolished in the 2008 breeding season and two nests destroyed this year.

Brown also said his office has investigated reports of destroyed plover nests as a result of them being stepped on, driven over, and trampled by unleashed dogs. In addition, an adult snowy plover was crushed in mid-February, by an ATV on Centerville Beach.

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Heidi Walters

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Heidi Walters has been a staff writer with the North Coast Journal since 2005.

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