From: coRI News staff
Published November 10, 2013 08:13 AM

The Piping Plover gets some love

When was the last time you saw an endangered species up close, say a peregrine falcon or a gray wolf? It’s not easy to come face to face with animals that are rare and elusive. But piping plovers, right here on Rhode Island beaches, epitomize the plight of an endangered species, and they live out the most interesting part of their lives locally.

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Ocean State beachgoers have the opportunity to observe relatively "up close" the fascinating aspects of piping plover behavior and how a species of wildlife interfaces with an active human presence. For example, visitors to the Goosewing Beach Preserve get that opportunity - all it takes is a little curiosity, patience and respect.

The Nature Conservancy is responsible for monitoring the nesting success, or failure, of piping plovers on the organization’s Goosewing Beach Preserve and at other privately owned areas of nesting in Little Compton and in nearby Westport, Mass. The birds are listed as a federally "threatened" species.

Nature Conservancy staff incorporate the efforts of landowners and volunteers to enhance plover productivity at these sites. Public education also is key when it comes to managing any specie. The Nature Conservancy led 38 education programs during the 2013 season, partnering with local experts to introduce participants not only to piping plovers, but also to the many plants, fish and insects that make up the intricate web of a beach ecosystem.

Piping Plover chick photo via Shutterstock.

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