The Nature Conservancy on Long Island announced today that the piping plover, a small stocky shorebird that once faced extinction has returned from its wintering grounds to nest on Long Island’s shores.
The piping plover, a federally endangered and threatened species in New York state, has been sited on beaches throughout Long Island and the east coast since mid-March.
“Over the past 20 years, recovery efforts have had a great benefit to piping plovers, which have been steadily increasing in number from the brink of extinction,” said Joseph Jannsen, director of The Nature Conservancy’s Coastal Species Recovery Program. “We have been working diligently to protect this bird and its habitat and efforts are paying off.”
The number of plovers pairs observed on Long Island was 443 pairs in 2008. Although this represents a slight decrease over 2007’s 457 pairs, the birds were more productive, with 79 more chicks successfully fledging in 2008. The long-term trend has been upward since the species was listed under the Endangered Species Act in 1986 when only 106 pairs were known from Long Island’s shores. The local trend mirrors the Atlantic Coast Population numbers. When the piping plover was listed in 1986, there were only 790 pairs along the Atlantic Coast. In 2008, over 1800 pairs were observed over this same area.
Plover recovery requires the cooperation of a host of federal, state and county agencies, local government, private organizations, beachfront homeowners and beach goers. More than a dozen organizations have been working to inform the public of the importance of protecting this imperiled species, while locating, fencing posting and protecting plover nesting areas across Long Island.
“We are improving communications and coordinating management and monitoring as we continue recovering this species,” continued Jannsen. “With increased effort we can safeguard this vital part of our natural heritage for generations to come.”
To learn more about our work on Long Island,please visit www.nature.org/longisland.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.