Measures to Protect Plovers at Dennis’ Beaches Continue

DENNIS–Dennis Natural Resources Director Karen Johnson updated selectmen recently regarding the town’s efforts in protecting the piping plover, an endangered bird. Dennis has been monitoring this situation for over a decade.

“Piping plovers are still protected by the Federal Endangered Species Act and the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act,” Johnson said.

“Violations of these can result in substantial fines and penalties to the town; that’s why we take steps to protect them.”

Plovers tend to create their nests on and around beaches, so the town has utilized methods such as rerouting traffic in parking lots around the nests and escorting shellfishermen to and from grants at designated times to avoid the risk of plovers being put at risk.

Johnson said that the latter plan has improved over the years.

“It works. We had no complaints this year, and I think it’s because a few years ago we worked more of the kinks out. We had a few more seasonal staff this year to help with the escorts,” Johnson explained.

“So all in all, it works fairly well.”

Johnson mentioned that the most popular beach in the town for plovers is West Dennis Beach. The Crowes Pastures and Coles Pond area should also become a busier spot for nests, despite seeing zero percent productivity over this nesting season due to predation.

About Brendan Fitzpatrick

Brendan, a recent graduate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is one of the newest members of the NewsCenter team. When not on the beat, you'll probably find him watching Boston sports.
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