Plover Season Now in Effect on Oregon Coast, Some Restrictions
(Florence, Oregon) - The nesting season has begun for the western snowy plover along the central Oregon coast, and that means some restrictions to humans and dogs for a handful of areas on the south coast and near Florence.
The Bureau of Land Management and Siuslaw National Forest Recreation Area say the restrictions and closures affect about 18 miles of beach, and run from March 15 to September 15. The snowy plover, a small shorebird that lays its eggs on the Oregon coast, raises its young there, and the endangered species is cause for restrictions in order to protect the eggs.
Dry sand closures are in effect at Sutton Beach, Siltcoos Estuary, Oregon Dunes Day Use, Tahkenitch Estuary, Tenmile Estuary (northern Coos County), the North Spit of Coos Bay, Bandon Beach State Natural Area, and New River area beaches. Many of these are around the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area between Florence and North Bend, but also include Baker Beach just north of Florence. See the map from the Siuslaw National Forest Recreation Area.
Dogs and kites are prohibited in both dry and wet sand beach areas within most of these Plover nesting areas.
“The number of fledgling plover chicks doubled from 2010 to 2011, going from 84 to 168 birds,” said Kerrie Palermo, Wildlife Biologist with the Bureau of Land Management. “People honoring the closures, along with the habitat improvement and predator control projects the agencies are implementing, are getting us closer to recovering the snowy plover population.”
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the western snowy plover as threatened in 1993, especially along the Pacific coast of the U.S. The primary threats to snowy plover survival are habitat degredation, urban development, European beachgrass introduction, and predators such as crows, ravens, foxes and skunks.
More information on plover habitat and beach restrictions can be obtained from the Forest Service at 541-750-7000, or the BLM at 541-756-0100. Visit the Snowy Plover section of the Fish & Wildlife Service website to learn more about the western snowy plover.
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