This week’s Photo of the Week celebrates the ongoing recovery of Piping Plover in Maine. Gallery member Charles Gangas shot the photo of a plover taking flight on July 17 near the beach in Kinney Shores, on Saco Bay south of Portland. He used a Nikon D810 and a 500mm lens.
Historically, Maine had more than 30 miles of suitable nesting beaches that may have supported more than 200 pairs of Piping Plovers. Today, because of encroaching development, the available shoreline habitat for nesting plovers has been reduced by 75 percent. The species, listed as threatened by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is considered endangered in Maine.
Nevertheless, plovers are doing better each year. In 2015, biologists counted at least 60 nesting pairs, a 20 percent increase from last year’s 50 pairs and twice as many as were counted just five years ago.
Maine Audubon has worked for more than 30 years to restore the population of plovers and Least Terns, educating the public, monitoring birds, and placing fences and signs to protect nesting areas.
In early July, according to an article in the Bangor Daily News, more than 100 plover chicks were present on the state’s beaches.
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