Alert: Speak up to save nesting Piping Plovers

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Piping Plover parent with chick | Melissa Groo / Photo Awards
Piping Plovers build their nests and raise their chicks on the beaches of Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Modest, science-based protections, put in place in 2008, have helped this endangered bird nest successfully in recent years.
Send a public comment to the National Park Service today and urge them not to weaken the current protections.


Piping Plover chicks on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore are in danger again. The National Park Service is poised to reverse parts of its off-road vehicle management plan—we have a very short window to oppose their misguided proposal.

Since 2008, wildlife buffers have protected Piping Plovers, other beach-nesting birds, and sea turtles. The birds and turtles build their nests on the beaches—and nests, eggs, and chicks were destroyed by chronic disturbance and sometimes run over before the science-based buffers were put in place. The National Park Service’s deeply-flawed new plan weakens these protections.1

We’re looking at an uphill battle to protect the science-based wildlife buffers that protect the plovers and their chicks.

You are the last line of defense to protect our threatened shorebirds. We need you to speak out in favor of protecting the buffers that ensure Piping Plovers chicks and other beach-nesting wildlife have a chance at survival.

The National Park Service is collecting comments from the public about its flawed new proposal, but we only have until next Thursday, May 14.

Follow the steps below to submit a public comment directly to the National Park Service. The deadline to comment is May 14.

  1. Go to the Park Service’s comment page (will open in a new window).
  2. Fill in your contact information.
  3. Copy the sample letter below and paste it into the “Comments” section. Feel free to edit the comments with your own words about why protecting endangered birds and sea turtles is important to you.
  4. IMPORTANT: Let us know you sent a comment. This is the only way we have of knowing how many people are sending letters.

Sample Comments
Beach-nesting birds, sea turtles, and tourism all have thrived under the National Park Service’s management of beach driving by ORVs. The current management plan safeguards beach-nesting wildlife and pedestrian beachgoers on national seashore beaches while still allowing beach driving within the park.

According to your own National Park Service data, prior to the current plan in 2007, there were only 82 sea turtle nests. As many as 254 sea turtle nests have been laid in a single year under the current plan. Before the current plan was in place, the numbers of Piping Plover fledglings was devastating with no chicks surviving to fledge in 2002 or 2004. Since ORV management practices were implemented in 2008, as many as 15 federally threatened Piping Plovers have fledged in a single year.

The new proposal is deeply flawed and endangers federally threatened wildlife on our shores.

Our wildlife deserves these protections and scientific research has shown that these North Carolina native birds need adequate buffers to survive. Please don’t weaken the current plan to meet the individual desires of a few special interest groups.

I am counting on you to protect:

* The current plan. Any rule changes should be supported by science, not just convenience or community pressure.
* The current wildlife barriers that are supported by science. The new recommendations will not protect our birds and sea turtles.
* Federally-listed, threatened birds. Allowing more ORV access isn’t the stewardship we count on from the National Park Service, nor the protection we expect from the Endangered Species Act.

Thank you for considering my comments.

Thank you for taking time to submit a public comment. Please help us spread the word by sharing this message using the “Share this alert” buttons below.

photo of David Yarnold Sincerely,

David YarnoldDavid Yarnold
President & CEO, National Audubon Society


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