of sand and
on sandbars, and the eggs themselves are sand-coloured, it’s
easy for casual strollers, swimmers, and boaters to inadvertently
While hired students concentrate on the monitoring side of
the piping plover program – banding birds and recording
data on where nests are located, how many eggs have been laid,
and so on – the Park Wardens are responsible for ensuring
that protective measures are taken and enforced. These measures
involve not only educating the public about the birds’
precarious situation through information bulletins and clear
signage, but also setting up barriers around nesting areas.
This begins even before the birds arrive in the spring, with
the erection of fencing to warn the public to stay away from
known nesting sites. Once the eggs are laid and hatched, the
birds become particularly vulnerable to predators, and this
often requires the placement of metal and wire-mesh enclosures
over the nests themselves.
endangered species since 1985, piping plovers are monitored
and protected at Prince Edward Island National Park.
© Parks Canada
Photograph by Simon Lunn.