Solving the Piping Plover Puzzle

Solving the Piping Plover Puzzle

Piping plovers are famous summer residents of beaches and lakeshores--the most adorable argument against development and reckless recreation. Yet where many spend the winter has long been a mystery. Until now. 

By Don Stap/Photograph by John Huba
Published: November-December 2012

Shortly thereafter, BirdLife International, a global coalition of organizations from more than 100 countries, declared the Joulter Cays an Important Bird Area, signifying that the site's habitat is essential for one or more bird species. Perhaps the pristine beaches and sandbars, turquoise waters, and food-rich mudflats will remain untouched, lost in time. "The Joulters," after all, jokes Jeffery, "are right in the middle of the Bermuda Triangle."

*The story has been corrected to correctly identify the Bahamas National Trust as an NGO. 

This story originally ran in the November-December 2012 issue as "The Plover Platoon."

Magazine Category

Author Profile

Don Stap

Type: Author | From: Audubon Magazine

Comments

I have gained some useful

I have gained some useful information from this site. By day they walked across mudflats and kayaked in the shallows, working their way from north to south while counting piping plovers and every other bird they saw.

What a success story!

Having been on the outskirts, observing Dr. Haig's struggle to keep these birds in the forefront of investigation in the 80's, this followup must be a thrilling vindication of her faith in finding and restoring the habitat of an endangered species. Bravo!!

Plovers

Thank you for your work. It is much need for the Plover. In the 90's I
learned from a friend who was assisting w/ research on them, that
there was concern. Thank you for all you do.

Now we know where they are we

Now we know where they are we can get rid of them and the corruption they have created. Because of this bird the Audubon Society has sold their soul and the NPS is now a corrupt communist organization.

Get Over Yourself

This is just ridiculous. The NPS has not in anyway sold its soul because of this bird, or any bird for that matter. I am going to go on a guess, though I could be wrong, that this commenter is angry because they aren't allowed to drive on certain sections of beach because these birds need their habitat to nest in. Therefore, since this bird makes it so I can't drive on the beach, lets exterminate it. It is a nuisance to me and a minority of others, so lets get rid of it. Do you see how ridiculous that sounds? Probably not, but many others do, and you are just showing how little you actually know. Numerous animal species, not just birds, are being eradicated because they are a nuisance to man, and you want to add one more to the list? Your ignorance and selfishness are absolutely disgraceful. Get over your ego and learn that we live with nature, not above it. We only have this one planet to live on, and if you destroy one species, they are gone forever. The Ivory Billed Woodpecker, Passenger Pigeon, Carolina Parakeet and several other bird species have been eradicated due to humans either viewing them as a nuisance, or destruction of their habitat. Learn to live with nature, not dominate over it.

Why don't you "Get over youself"(and this bird)

What is ridiculous is your assumption that people are angry because we can't drive on a section of beach. That is how you all justify the actions taken by the Audubon. What has people angry is a loss of their ability to earn a living. A lot of these local people can go back generations and tell you how their families through many struggles, perservance and hard work carved out a living that is steeped in tradition. You insult them and their ancestors with your "Get over yourself and driving on a beach" comments. I can assure you that where ever your home is located, or your workplace, that it was once home to some living animal. Are you prepared to give up your job, so that an animal can return? I sincerely doubt it. I wonder do you see dinosaurs walking around? No, because the world has evolved and maybe just maybe God's plan wasn't to keep the Piping Plover around forever. Before you put down an entire area of hard working individuals, who catch the fish you eat, take care of those beachs long after you have returned home, pay a hell of a lot more in state and county taxes BECAUSE you show up each summer to sit on the beach, why don't you worry about their ability to provide for their families instead of making sure the Plover has a nesting area. The Plover isn't even local to some of these beachs, but what the hell right? Just shut it down because we are the Audubon Society and we are more important than those people who live there. I have been to several beaches in my life around the world, and one thing I have noticed, is that the Plover doesn't give a damn whether the beach is empty or packed with humanity, seals, or anything else. Why don't you and your fellow birdwatchers (who by the way, contribute less to protecting your beloved speicies than any other group) stop using the birds and their "habitat" as an excuse to ruin lives. Or better yet, why doesn't you and your fellow Audubon members write checks to those families who have lost their businesses? Oh wait never mind, giving isn't what the Audubon society is about.

Seriously

Yes, because humans have a tendency to corrupt, let us get rid of the current thing we believe is causing that corruption. So yes, let us encourage deliberately wipe a species off the planet entirely because we feel the Audubon Society has been corrupted and is not heading in the direction we want it to. Yes, if only the Piping Plover were extinct, we might see that this organization might suddenly function as though humans were not involved. And while we're at it, let's cut down all of the California redwoods because they obviously are corrupting the Sierra Club. And let's just destroy all of the tropical rainforests that are corrupting the Rainforest Action Network. And Right Whales simply need to go because the Sea Shepherd Society is DEFINITELY communist. And.... enough said.

Seriously

Yes, because humans have a tendency to corrupt, let us get rid of the current thing we believe is causing that corruption. So yes, let us encourage deliberately wipe a species off the planet entirely because we feel the Audubon Society has been corrupted and is not heading in the direction we want it to. Yes, if only the Piping Plover were extinct, we might see that this organization might suddenly function as though humans were not involved. And while we're at it, let's cut down all of the California redwoods because they obviously are corrupting the Sierra Club. And let's just destroy all of the tropical rainforests that are corrupting the Rainforest Action Network. And Right Whales simply need to go because the Sea Shepherd Society is DEFINITELY communist. And.... enough said.

Wow. It is so useful to

Wow. It is so useful to remain anonymous and make such statements with absolutely no documentation or evidence to support your claims. Unbelievable.

Wow. It is so useful to

Wow. It is so useful to remain anonymous and make such statements with absolutely no documentation or evidence to support your claims. Unbelievable.

Add comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.