Monday, August 06, 2007

Piping Plover Or Cats

Cats are the main suspect in many deaths of the endangered piping plover, a fist-size, white-and-brown bird that has closed beaches and stopped development projects in the interest of protecting their habitat.

The plovers build nests in sandy, open stretches of beach, making them and their chicks easy prey for a variety of predators, including cats. With only 115 pairs of piping plovers left in the New Jersey, the federal government may intervene on the side of the birds.

Cape May is one of the prime bird-watching spots in all of North America. The World Series of Birding is held there each year. And with bird watching and related expenditures bringing in nearly $2 billion a year to New Jersey’s economy.

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 say that 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.

No comments:

Post a Comment