Snowy plover restrictions now in effect until September 15 on Oregon Coast
FLORENCE, Ore. - Biologists ask the public to respect beach closures and restrictions in Oregon designed to help the federally protected western snowy plover recover.
The restrictions go into effect March 15 to September 15 while the birds are nesting.
Visitors will see signs and ropes identifying nesting areas. Restrictions include limits on dogs, vehicles, kites, drones, camping and fire.
"We're making great strides in reversing the downward slide of this species," said Cindy Burns, Siuslaw National Forest wildlife biologist. "But it takes all of us, so we urge people to do their part to understand nesting season rules and to share the beach this spring and summer."
Federally threatened plovers nest on open sand along Oregon's beaches.
"Nests, and especially chicks, are well-camouflaged," according to Oregon State Parks. "During nesting season, human disturbances can flush adult plovers away from their nests as they attempt to defend their young from the perceived predator. Left alone too long, eggs or chicks can die from exposure, predators or people. "
All told, the small plover management areas comprise 40 miles of Oregon's 362-mile shoreline.
"Visitors will have access to hundreds of miles of beaches without these seasonal restrictions," said Laurel Hillmann, Ocean Shores Specialist for Oregon State Parks. "By planning your trip, you can enjoy the coast and help keep this sensitive bird safe."
"On these plover beaches, the dry sand and dunes are closed to all access -- except along official trails and on the wet sand -- to protect eggs and chicks," according to the state. "Visitors may see roped off areas within these plover management areas, which serve to protect the most sensitive habitat; however, all dry sand on both sides of the rope is closed. Wet sand areas on plover beaches remain open to foot and equestrian traffic. All other recreation is off limits, include walking your dog (even on a leash), driving a vehicle, riding a bicycle, camping, fires, and flying kites or drones."