For Immediate Release from Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken
Public Works in conjunction with our local Conservation Commission, MA Dept of Wildlife and Fisheries and Mass Audubon have been following the activities of Piping Plovers on Good Harbor Beach for the past 4 weeks. The birds have shown signs of nesting activities in this area.
On a recommendation of the state we have fenced off an area approximately 200 feet by 200 feet – southwest of board walk number 3. This area starts at the base of the dunes and extends to the high tide rack or water line. This area is to be off llimits to all humans as well as any domestic pets. These birds are listed under the State and Federal Endangered Species Acts and are granted special protection.
We will continue to work with all agencies to provide the support they need to let nature take its course. We ask for the support of the general public to adhere to the regulations set forth. Any questions should be directed to the Department of Recreation and Conservation (DCR) and/or Mass Audubon.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
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A little background information from Dave Rimmer, Director of Land Stewardship Greenbelt
- The nest site will be surrounded by a single strand fence with a few signs staying it is a RESTRICTED AREA. Usually on beaches like GHB, we try to keep this fencing to a minimum, but if it appears the birds are still being disturbed after the fence is in place, it may need to be expanded to provide an additional buffer.
- Information will be provided to help beach staff understand Piping Plovers so they can communicate on some level why the area has restricted access.
- they are a shorebird that is on the US Endangers Species List as a threatened species
- they nest right on the sand, laying 4 light brown speckled eggs.
- it takes them about 4 weeks to incubate and hatch the eggs.
- Chicks are precocious and leave the nest immediately to begin foraging on the own for food. They may stay within fenced area for first day or so but eventually they will wander beyond the fence either along the high beach or down to the waters edge. They are extremely vulnerable during this time, so beach scraping may need to be curtailed. In addition, ATVs driving on the beach will need to be extremely careful.
- chick fledge (fly) in about 25 days
- So total time from egg laying to chicks fledging is about 8 weeks.
Greenbelt | Essex County’s Land Trust
82 Eastern Avenue
Essex, MA 01929
(978) 768-7241 x14