Shorebird eggs and nests destroyed in New York, feds provide rewards for leads

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Editor’s notice: This text describes the destruction of nests and eggs of protected and weak hen species. It is probably not appropriate for some readers. 

A detailed-up picture of the destroyed American Oystercatcher egg, smashed in opposition to the again of a seashore signal. Picture by Kathryn McCabe/USFWS

The Nationwide Park Service (NPS) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) are providing a reward of as much as $5,000 for info resulting in the conviction of the individual or individuals answerable for the intentional destruction of not less than one American Oystercatcher egg on the border of the Breezy Level Co-Operative and the Nationwide Park Service’s Gateway Nationwide Recreation Space Breezy Level Unit, in Rockaway Level, New York.

An August 8 information launch saying the reward cash additionally says that USFWS is providing a reward of as much as $5,000 to eligible people for info that considerably furthers the investigations and/or results in enforcement actions for individuals answerable for the next situations of the destruction of eggs and nests of American Oystercatcher and Piping Plover in New York Metropolis and Lengthy Island this breeding season:

  • Between 1 pm Could 13 and 10 am Could 15, 2022, roughly 57 American Oystercatcher eggs and 4 Piping Plover eggs have been taken from their nests between Seashore 38 and Seashore 57 on a New York Metropolis Parks ocean seashore in Arverne, Queens. A blue hooded sweatshirt with a star sample was found on the web site subsequent to damaged American Oystercatcher eggshells.
  • On Could 15, one lifeless Piping Plover grownup was discovered at Seashore 47 on the identical New York Metropolis Parks ocean seashore in Arverne, Queens.
  • On or about Could 20, two American Oystercatcher nests have been tampered with at Seashore 64 in Arverne, Queens.
  • Between Could 23 and 24, a Piping Plover nest and the encircling predator exclosure have been deliberately destroyed on a New York State Parks ocean seashore at Robert Moses State Park in Babylon.
  • On June 11, protecting fencing was destroyed, and people have been noticed putting in tents inside Piping Plover breeding areas at Seashore 56.5 in Arverne, Queens. Three (3) Piping Plover eggs have been lacking from a nest after this occasion.
  • Between June 11 and 14, two Piping Plover nests and predator exclosures have been deliberately destroyed on a New York State Parks ocean seashore at Jones Seashore State Park in Wantagh.
  • On June 26, unleashed dogs have been noticed and eggs from a Piping Plover nest have been taken inside protected Piping Plover breeding areas on an ocean seashore within the City of Southampton, simply east of the Shinnecock East County Park. 

Contact information

American Oystercatchers are protected underneath the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Most penalties underneath this act are $15,000 and/or as much as six months imprisonment for the take of every egg. Whereas the date and time of the incident at Breezy Level is unknown, the destroyed egg(s) have been found on July 6, 2022, at roughly 6 pm. Anybody with details about the incident is requested to contact both USFWS Particular Agent Kathryn McCabe at (516) 318-7383; the NPS Jamaica Bay Unit 24-hour dispatch at (718) 354-4700; or 1-844-FWS-TIPS (397-8477).

The Piping Plover is protected as a threatened species underneath the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). Most penalties underneath the ESA are a tremendous of $25,000 and/or imprisonment of as much as six months for the take of every egg or particular person hen. Anybody with details about the incidents listed above are requested to contact USFWS Particular Agent Kathryn McCabe at 516-825-3950, or 1-844-FWS-TIPS (397-8477).

American Oystercatcher, grownup. Picture by Marian McSherry

How one can assist shorebirds

With ever-growing calls for on our seashores, there are fewer locations for shorebirds like American Oystercatcher and Piping Plover to lift households, feed, and relaxation. The USFWS and NPS work with companions to guard and restoration these species on private and non-private lands, however the public may help, too, by preserving the wants of shorebirds in thoughts when visiting the shore. Listed here are 5 methods to make the seashore extra welcoming for birds:

1. Comply with all posted guidelines. By respecting posted areas, figuring out what you possibly can and can’t do on the particular seashore you’re visiting, and understanding that seashores are birds’ houses, you possibly can assist hold them secure.

2. Give birds area. Flushing birds when they’re making an attempt to eat or relaxation stresses them out and prevents them from feeding their chicks or refueling for his or her lengthy flights.

3. Comply with posted guidelines about preserving dogs on leash. Even good dogs frighten seashore birds. A curious canine would possibly unintentionally damage a hen.

4. Don’t go away trash on the seashore, together with meals waste. It attracts predators, like raccoons, that prey on chicks and eggs.

5. Don’t feed birds. Gulls particularly are drawn to your lunch. Our meals will not be a part of their pure weight loss plan, and extra gulls can improve disturbance to a few of the imperiled species that companies try to guard.

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