Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Curious Case Of The Piping Plover.

I chose the name of this post based upon an article on the website which discusses plover nesting and fledgling success rates which is at least, a very interesting read. It seems that even, at least in some cases even Audubon is beginning to question their espoused management advice and is wondering why our beloved ploover (Canadian pronunciation) is doing well in areas where people abound and are not regulated by the sort of draconian restrictions placed upon our beaches here on Hatteras ans Ocracoke Islands. The plover is, after all, the only federally protected bird species on the islands but apparently they sometimes do well around people, contrary to the mania that has been thrust upon us by Audubon, DOW, their lawyers from SELC, and of course, the Park Service. The article can be read here:

The impetus for this post, however, is this years record of ploover (rhymes with hoover like the vacuum) nesting.

Since the advent of the Decree of Forced Consent, in fact just weeks after it went into effect, the environmental groups and NPS were claiming great improvements in nesting and whatnot. Since these massive closures went into effect, numbers have fluctuated year in and year out as they always have.

Last year they were at it again, falling all over themselves about 18 ploover nests when in fact there were only 12 pair of birds. Yes folks, six nests were lost. None of which can be attributed to human activity except perhaps NPS which I'm sure they will never admit to; being the saviors of the islands and wildlife. Excepting of course, the thousands of animals they have slaughtered in the name of wildlife protection; the incredible paradox of species management.

I got a phone call from a friend last Saturday when NPS was conducting a re-enactment of sorts by the Lighthouse that involved the firing of a field piece, aka cannon. I could hear it from where I live in spite of what I recall, were NW winds. Now having been a reenactor this came as no surprise  and I recognized the sound for what it was from the beginning. During the conversation I was told that every time the gun went off, the birds on the beach left the ground in panic, including the ploovers. What I was also told, was that when the ploovers left their nests, gulls, crows, and cetera were trying to get to their eggs.

Well guess what, sometime between last Thursday and today, NPS managed to lose an entire plover nest at Cape Point. Coincidence?

So now, all of these massive closures of the beaches we own are being shut down by a whopping five ploover nests and this late in the season, it's not likely that there will be more. Even if the pair that lost their nest returns, we've still, at this point, only got half the ploovers here we had last year.

My question is what will be the spin this time? Cant blame it on vehicular access or pedestrians. We haven't had any storms to speak of, and it's been warm. So then, what is the issue since we've eliminated visitor access? I doubt I'll ever get an answer but they can't blame it on you and me.

Things are getting interesting folks and will likely continue to do so. These absurd closures and the way they are ruining vacations and this economy for no valid reason need pointed out to our elected representatives. Please write, email and call them to let them know the facts about whats happening here. Dont forget, OBPA is also on facebook as "Outer Banks Preservation Association"

The facts and history are all there.

Tight Lines,



  1. Once again Wheat, a very good read. We have got to keep the pressure on and I know that we will have our beaches back and share with the wildlife as we always have in the past. I guess the 2000+ so called predators they have killed over the last couple of years didn't improve the nesting success either.

  2. Thanks for you insights wheat..always a pleasure to read