I have attached below an update from Brendan Clifford of NH Fish and Game on the status of Piping Plovers at Seabrook Beach. There is mapping of the existing nests, and the Guideline for Wildlife Management in the attached documents. We appreciate the work and communication from the State of New Hampshire on this issue.
I am emailing to update you on the status of the piping plover nests this year on Seabrook Beach. I’ve attached a map showing the location of each nest and the expected hatching dates. As you know, NHFG manages the beaches in accordance with the guidelines set forth by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to prevent ‘take’ of any piping plover, chick or eggs. The piping plover is protected under the federal Endangered Species Act.
Motorized vehicles are a significant threat to the survival of chicks (they cannot fly and are extremely hard to see). They often squat in the sand when the feel threatened. To protect against accidentally killing or disturbing the chicks the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recommends that no vehicles should be on the beach in areas where chicks are present unless they are essential for responding to a life-threatening emergency. I’ve also attached a copy of the USFWS Guidelines for Managing Recreational Activities in Plover Breeding Areas that explains vehicle use in more detail.
We currently have 3 Piping plover nests on Seabrook Beach and 1 nest on the Harborside Beach. Two of the nests on Seabrook Beach are scheduled to hatch this week so at this time we need to cease all vehicle use of the beach (except in life threatening emergency situations). The nest north of Hooksett Street is not scheduled to hatch until mid-July so there will still be opportunity to clean the beach there but only in coordination with our plover monitor, Stacy Peterson.
Given the late nesting this year there are likely to be plover chicks on the beach into August. I will keep you updated on the status of the birds.