This article popped up in my news feed and although its from last summer I thought it a good read (or listen, if you prefer). –
July is nearly through, and so is the piping plover’s nesting season. It’s make-or-break time for these small, endangered shorebirds.
There are roughly 8,000 piping plovers in the entire world. To put that in context, birders often get really excited to see a rare bird like a snowy owl. But there are about 28,000 snowy owls in the world, three times the number of piping plovers.
Since piping plovers make their nests along the water and out in the open, their chicks are very vulnerable to being gobbled up by predators. And a major reason for their decline in numbers is human development along the beaches, lakes, and rivers where piping plovers lay their eggs.
SciFri radio producer Shoshannah Buxbaum went out to Fort Tilden in Queens, NY to report on a volunteer-run conservation effort along the New York City coastline.
And later in the segment, Michigan radio reporter Lester Graham talks with guest host Sophie Bushwick about the unique challenges and triumphs of the piping plovers who nest along the Great Lakes.