Record Numbers of Piping Plovers Recorded on Maine Beaches

Piping plovers are considered threatened in Maine by the federal government.

Paul J. Fusco/DEEP-Wildlife Division

 A threatened shorebird is being seen in record numbers on Maine beaches this summer.

There were 140 nesting pairs of piping plovers and 252 chicks were raised to the point of being able to fly, both records, said Laura Zitske, a wildlife biologist at Maine Audubon.

Piping plovers were listed as endangered by the state in 1986 as their numbers plummeted to fewer than dozen nesting pairs because of predators and habitat loss. They’re considered threatened in Maine by the federal government.

The shorebirds nest on sandy beaches in southern Maine.

The birds’ nesting areas are marked off limits with fences and signs to avoid being disturbed, and officials have banned fireworks on beaches when the birds are present.

Zitske told Maine Public that the recovery has been possible because of partnerships between the state, towns, organizations and volunteers working together to protect plover nests.

“I think that hard work, it doesn’t always pay off right away. But it really does pay off over time,” she said.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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