Trenton, NJ -(AmmoLand.com)- Biologist Christina Davis has provided the following:
Much to the relief of everyone (biologists and user groups alike!) the 2016 Piping Plover saga at Island Beach State Park has come to a successful conclusion. As Todd noted last week, the injured chick was reunited with the healthy chick and the male. Since that update, the family was observed on-site for the rest of the week.
The vehicle barrier was removed as scheduled on August 8. As expected, many people began utilizing the area soon after and our daily monitoring of the brood was reduced.
None of the plover individuals were observed after the reopening to vehicles last week, with the exception of one observation on the 11th, of the chick Phipps. This is to be expected as we both reduced our monitoring intensity and the chicks are of an age/it is the time of year where they should be leaving the site. The other two have likely left the site for the season or are using it intermittently as they explore nearby areas (like Barnegat Light or Sedge Island sand flats) before leaving for good.
When we first learned that the plovers had nested at this site, our ultimate, pie in the sky, goal was to fledge chicks. Considering the amount of work and luck needed to make that happen, we were not overly confident. Now that our goal is in the rear view, I am filled with gratitude to the park and the leadership of the user groups who were understanding of this situation and, more importantly, willing to set a tone for their constituents that encouraged compliance of the temporary restrictions. We know that was not easy and we thank you for it as this outcome would not have been possible without you all.
This concludes our updates for 2016. Piping Plovers are site fidelic so there is a reasonable chance they will return in 2017. We look forward with working with everyone again should this come to fruition.
For information on beach nesting birds in New Jersey be sure to visit the NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife website at http://www.njfishandwildlife.com/ensp/beachnester_info.htm.
About N.J. Division of Fish and Wildlife:
The N.J. Division of Fish and Wildlife is a professional environmental agency dedicated to the protection, management and wise use of New Jersey’s fish and wildlife resources. The Division is within the Natural and Historic Resources Group in the NJ Department of Environmental Protection under the direction of Assistant Commissioner Richard Boornazian.
For more information, visit: www.njfishandwildlife.com.