Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Beachgoers asked to help protect threatened Wilson's plover

One pair of the threatened birds was found this season on Jekyll Island.
Two can be a lonely number, especially when it comes to one of Georgia's threatened bird species on the coast.

Only one nesting pair of Wilson's plovers has been found on Jekyll Island this season, adding urgency to a plea by state wildlife biologists for beachgoers to help protect the plovers and other shorebirds sharing the sand.

People can help the birds, which breed on Georgia beaches from April through July, by leaving their dogs at home. In addition, beachfront residents should keep pet cats indoors and shouldn't feed feral cats prowling the shore, Brad Winn, a Georgia Department of Natural Resources wildlife biologist, said Tuesday.

"Nesting shorebirds already face daunting natural dangers such as high spring tides and native predators. Birds like the Wilson's plover that nest right on the beach do not tolerate the added pressure from pet dogs and free-roaming cats," said Winn, who's coastal program manager for DNR's Wildlife Resources Division Nongame Conservation Section.

No comments: