Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Irony on the dunes; pretense we can't afford

School children, grant fund sources and the general public are still being told beach grass removal directly benefits the snowy plover. However, according to published reports, plover counts and, most importantly, fledge rates are all down significantly. This has happened since the accelerated beach grass removal and plover monitoring programs began 10 years ago or so.

Little River State Beach had been a reliable place for a few nests and fledged birds in past years. For some reason State Parks decided to spend over a half million dollars to bulldoze it. Ironically, not a chirp from the environmental community.

Now there is almost no protective cover for the plovers or their nests, and it has become a gathering ground for ravens and crows.

A single plover was hatched on Clam Beach this year in an unrestored area way up close to Moonstone Beach. In its first 10 days the little fella and its papa traversed all the way south past the county park and across Strawberry Creek to below Vista Point. A distance of about two miles. Maybe a record. Ironically, previous reports state that chicks have trouble getting out of tire tracks. Unfortunately, it disappeared before fledging.