Hopes for piping plover record in Delaware

 (Photo: Northside Jim/Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey)

(Photo: Northside Jim/Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey)

State environmental leaders anticipate what could be a record year for piping plover nests along Delaware’s coastline.

The piping plover has been protected as a threatened species under the federal Endangered Species Act since 1986. It’s up to Delaware’s Division of Fish and Wildlife to make sure the birds and their nests are not disturbed.

So far this year, there are five pairs of plovers with nests at the Point at Cape Henlopen, and four nests on Fowler Beach at Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge. Another pair is setting up a nest at Gordons Pond in Cape Henlopen.

“With nine known piping plover nests at the same time, we are close to tying – or maybe even breaking – the record of 10 pairs nesting in a single year,” said Kevin Bronson of the Division of Fish and Wildlife.

As part of the effort to protect the plover nests, the Delaware Dept. of Natural Resources and Environmental Control closes nesting areas to the public at Cape Henlopen State Park from March through September. DNREC monitors the breeding plovers until the last chicks of the season head south for the winter. DNREC monitors the breeding plovers until the last chicks of the season head south for the winter.

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