Friday, August 2, 2013

Green-Wood Cemetery Dog; Dead Plover

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From Maine Audubon

On Monday, July 15, our biologists received concerning news. The Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center called the Piping Plover/Least Tern Project office to report that a dead piping plover fledgling (learning to fly) had been delivered to the Center. The citizen who brought in the plover witnessed the bird being attacked by an off-leash dog.

The death of this plover fledgling was particularly devastating as it had been the only chick to hatch from its brood. The parents had chosen a rather challenging spot to nest on Pine Point Beach in Scarborough, where dogs and foot-traffic cause a constant disturbance to the adults’ incubation of their eggs.
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We work hard to ask dog owners to please leash their pets in areas where piping plovers are nesting and foraging. The nesting areas are marked with signs and symbolic fencing in the form of stake and twine. Being dog lovers ourselves, we understand that dogs need their exercise, but we also know that it is in a dog’s nature to want to chase anything that moves. It is the dog owner’s responsibility to leash their pet in areas where endangered piping plovers make their nests.

 The incident on July 15 demonstrates that dogs are a very real threat to wildlife. We remind all beach-goers that piping plovers are an endangered species in Maine and protected by Endangered Species Act. The death of a bird can warrant a federal and state investigation. When situations such as this occur, we rely on witnesses to gather all available information so that we can prevent other violations in the future.

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Read the rest here.

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