Guess How Many More Piping Plovers There Are On The Cape After 10 Years Of Conservation?

plover cape

Ten years ago, in 2004, 124 Piping Plovers fledged (were born and lived long enough to fly) on Cape Cod’s National Seashore. 124. Now, after 10 years of conservation. After closing miles of beaches to vehicles. After closing miles of beaches to humans. After placing cages around their nests. After banning drones. After banning kite surfing. After trying to murder crows with chemicals. After all of this, ten years later, do you know how many Piping Plovers hatched and lived (fledged) in 2014? 27. TWENTY FUCKING SEVEN! Less than 22% of the amount that were hatched and survived ten years ago. plovers We are officially at Schiavo levels here folks. It’s time to pull the plug. There is just only so much you can do.

So please Mr. National Parks Head Bug Counter Guy, could we have our beaches back now? Maybe do a little camping? How about a little surfing? Maybe go fishing without having to walk 18 miles around a nest? Can a brother have a picnic up in here? Could the 215,888 of the humans that live here year round maybe enjoy our home again instead of being held hostage by 27 birds?

We gave you over 10 years to save them. You have failed miserably. It’s OK though, we won’t blame you, maybe the Plovers just aren’t cut out for life on Cape Cod. I know how hard this is for you Mr. National Parks guy, I’m sure it’s not easy when you realize you aren’t god. Most of us don’t remember that moment, since it happened to us when we were like 8 days old, but still, I’m sure it’s not easy, but it is definitely time.

P.S. Nauset spit has been closed for 8 years. Zero Piping Plovers survived there this year. ZERO.

P.P.S. Imagine the day the last Piping Plover finally dies and the ropes come down? It’ll be like caddy day at the pool at Bushwood Country Club.

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Twitter: Hippie - Insane Tony

Comments 90

  1. (VIDEO: Government is the #1 polluter?)

    the answer is freedom and a respect for property rights.

    these things are simply not meant to live hear. they are thriving in other parts of the world with or without humans. in some of those areas they actually eat them! that is how far farm extinction they are. its just here where they are clearly not supposed to be.

  2. it is not about the birds…it is all about the self righteous tree huggers telling people what they can do and where they can't do it.

  3. More birds survived BECA– USE people were around. Humans scare away predators. The more you remove humans, who have the capability to think and act on other than instinct, the more the area reverts to food chain found in nature, the big eat the little. If you bring back the people, more birds will survive, not less.

  4. It makes sense to me, that they were doing half way decent, (at least way better than they have with all of this human intervention!) when life went on as it always had. Obviously, by creating this preserved environment, we are making it even easier for the natural predators to get at these birds. Who knows, maybe the most common predator is terrified of humans, and by removing them anywhere near the plovers,….we have welcomed the predators in to basically have free reign over the area, to devour all the Plover eggs they want, without ever having to meet any of the things that would have normally scared them off before. Just let natural instinct rule here, and even if they were to die, every last Cape Cod Piping Plover……………….They STILL thrive in many other areas of the world!! Jeesh. Not only that but they look like a miniature version of the Seagull! Bird lovers can go to any town dump or visit and Wendy's restaraunt to gaze at a ton of THOSE birds!!! =)

  5. Maybe we could train them to nest in the yards and driveways of the people putting the restrictions in place. Then they couldn't leave their homes!

  6. Not all folks are like you, Jeff Thomas, and respect life and nature. Unfortunately, many folks like to go ripping through the nesting areas just to stir up the birds and watch them flee. I don't like the government controlling ANY of my life, but far too many people believe they can do anything they want, including destroy whatever they feel like destroying. Sad, but true.

  7. So I'm not the only one who believes there's a direct correlation to banning humans from the beaches and the reduced numbers of fledged birds, year after year. People carrying on in the normal course of life at the beach (swimming, laughing, talking, playing and . . yes, HORRORS . . kite-surfing) = wary and distant predators. When you ban all human traffic from the beach, it's like hanging out the "PLOVER CAFE" sign.

  8. Unfortunately, the birds are federally protected…and you live in one of the most liberal states in the country. You ask for big government, you got it, and you complain when it doesn't work in your favor.

  9. Maybe someday the Audubon will realize that the MBBA are beach conservationists and the majority of people on the beach are MBBA. You would do whatever to help and I agree the more people the less predators.

  10. The plover population was in decline long before kiting came on the scene. It appears the powers to be are at a loss and willing to try anything to help our fuzzy friends along – aka banning kiting.

    @ Rose Marie Fisk, she makes a good point. The presence of people in the birds natural habitat can only do more good than harm by potentially scaring off natural predators. This assumes that the humans do no harm to the birds themselves. This is evident is heavily populated areas (cities) where the Plovers receive comparatively less protection. Plover populations do better in these areas. This conclusion is empirical, and while there are so many other variables involved, one can't help but feel the author of this article has a point…

    While I don't want to see the birds disappear, it's painfully evident that this species of bird is relatively delicate. I remember a "bird expert" explaining to me one of the plover's "unfit" behaviors – the mother abandon's it's nest and or chicks if threatened. This doesn't make for a strong survival instinct in an otherwise harsh and competitive natural environment. It makes you wonder how the plover survived this long.

  11. Where do you get this logic from? I don't even know where to start. Do you know that some of the most common predators on plovers are gulls and crows? How many times have you ever observed a gull or a crow being "scared away" by people on the beach? Never. They are both scavengers as well as predators, who are attracted to the beaches where the plovers nest by the disgusting garbage that we entitled humans leave behind. We even feed gulls at the beach as an activity! This ATTRACTS predators. I can imagine a response to this being something along the lines of "well, if humans are providing food for the gulls in the form of leftovers and trash, then they won't be hungry enough to hunt plovers!" Not true. I have directly observed depredation of plovers by gulls on beaches that are VERY heavily used by people. Having access to leftovers and trash does not deter them from taking plover chicks and eggs. Aside from gulls and crows, most other types of predators hunt at night. I'm sure there would be a few incidents of people camping out or having fires on the beach at night if it were allowed, but the majority of people use the beach during the day, so I don't see how this would have a direct effect on predators being "scared away" from the area. Just a few of my thoughts on this ridiculous concept.

  12. Wendy J Hankins, please enlighten us non-ornithology degree having cape cod residents of the benefits of this program and how it has established a higher success rate of fledglings for these birds since the program's inception. You don't need to have a fancy degree to know how to work Excel and create a graph that shows the number of pairs has been flat, yet a downward trend line for success of fledglings. There clearly are other influences at play. We've taken humans out of the equation for the past 10 year, maybe it is time to look at other factors such as weather, population of predators, etc. which may be having a bigger impact than humans.

  13. a Degree in ornithology clearly would not advance you in debate.not all knowledge will be found in academia. Education is only a beginning step to knowledge.listening will advance that knowledge.cite your observations, present your arguments or stuff your degree.
    Wendy J Hankins

  14. Wendy J Hankins you are an asshole .just because you have a degree does not mean you know nature. what gives you the right to trap an kill other species to protect a certain you really think you are mother natures protector . why don't you look at the 10yrs of so called management and just maybe you can see what a joke the protection has been. so you can take your precious ornithology degree an stick it where the sun don't shine. it's obvious you have no common sense.

  15. Wendy< i have been a beach 4 wheeler fisherman for decades. I stayed out of nesting areas long before the huggers and park ranger nazi's showed up. they go to far. only the huggers and watchers are to enjoy the beach and no one else. that is the problem i have with enviro whacko's , never compromise, all about and all for them.

  16. I don't think these bean counters include piping plovers nesting and creating lives for themselves in niche areas away from the immediate shore. I refer to hundreds at times behind the Stop&Shop Harwich, in the sand pit in Brewster and other locals that provide an attractive niche for this species apparently away from its traditional predators.

  17. Anytime a natural course of nature is altered it will have an effect. Man has the delusion that he can alter things for the good, never seems to fair well. Oh and I have no degree in anything but I have the ability to look at facts and come to conclusions on said facts, It's called common sense.

  18. Our tax dollars are paying the NPS to take away our beach access, lie about these species being endangered (they are on the protected list), and rope off huge sections of beach designated for three types of birds to nest. It's good they put up signs so these three species know where there designated nesting areas are. It's maddening and embarrassing. The states should be allowed to take back their parks from our deceitful federal government. Thanks for posting, Hippie!

  19. Jimbo Barley it is obvious you have no manners. You should continue your schooling beyond High School. Take some classes in biology, logic and English and then you may be able to participate in a useful conversation instead of just juvenile name calling. Lay off the barley corn.

  20. Bobby Kennedy it is pitiful. Most "modern" countries in the world have taken steps to mitigate global warming. In the U.S. they are still arguing about if it exists. It seems we have become the country that rejects science. Even trying to discuss evolution people argue creationism…pathetic.

  21. Kim De Leon you may want to check with biologist you trust. It is common knowledge within the scientific community that HUMANS are the most common and lethal predator on earth.

  22. Winnie Ramone lol really? you are going to nit pick my grammar like i didnt know that lol this was my point. you ignorant people wont argue with the actual idea but nit pick the fact i said wont instead of "won't"

  23. Bobby Kennedy once again you do not address the fact that most of the countries not only think that the climate is changing, but they are also taking action to mitigate it. Are you capable of responding to an idea? No one is interested in you prattling on with name calling. So the floor is yours….tell the ignorant people why Canada, Europe, Japan, Australia, the Polynesian Islands, etc. are all ignorant.

  24. I certainly hope this site does not represent a cross section of the thinking on the Cape these days. I got to it from another site for adults. This seems to be all high school, brainless tit for tat with little to learn.

  25. Bobby Kennedy Yawn…you really are a bore. When people call names they usually are speaking of themselves. It is not possible to have a serious discussion with an ignorant sociopath. Good bye boy.

  26. and no im not taking out your name. people will know your full name and will be free to contact you about your bullshit lol
    Cape Cod Liberty Project (Free Cape Project)

    freedom is popular. if you hate freedom so much move to north korea

  27. This is just another failed attempt by special interest groups influencing government to try to control mother nature. As brillant as many of us are, we really don't know what we are doing sometimes. So many roads are paved with good intentions. Things just dont always turn out the way we expected. THAT is " human nature".

  28. These birds exist in other parts of the world, and thrive in many. It's time that the 2 percent stop holding the 98 percent hostage because they want to play God (yes I said God). I believe in preservation of endangered species, but these dodos are plentiful elsewhere. Time to let go.

  29. Wendy J Hankins Based on your repeated responses using the same response, I'm guessing engaging in adult debate evades you in situations where facts destroy your fictions. I don't have a degree in Ornithology, but 10 years without any progress by these pretty useless, however tasty, birds to save themselves only proves Darwins theory. It also tells me your parents paid too much for your education.

  30. There could be many reasons for low fledged counts. If you look at the # of mating pairs, it hasn't gone down much (the small jump down in pairs could very well be an outlier). There could be a population bottleneck (lack of genetic diversity), there could be various environmental factors, including predation. There are less and less wild places on the Cape due to urbal sprawl and the tourist industry (especially after the Jersey shore was damaged by storms a few years back). Less wild places mean less hunting ground for predators who will take what they can get. We are most likely the problem. Whether it be direct or indirect, increased development and many other human related activities has continued to negatively affect wildlife on Cape Cod. We should do our best to be respectful of other living things while they are extant. It's our responsiblity to be aware of how our actions affect living creatures–especially those that were here before us. There are plenty of beaches on the Cape to have fun on.

  31. Forget about the piping plover, I don't care what excuse you make, keep those areas blocked off. Maybe the other side of this article should be that somehow people survived the crushing indignity of having to walk around and area and let nature to itself. Tourist money didn't sag, everyone still had fun at the beach, everyone can find a place to drive their vehicles on the beach, and guess what? Part of the National Seashore was thankfully left untouched.

  32. They should maybe put the effort somewhere else, like maybe toward the homeless and addicted community. Maybe spend some money on gang activity and dealing. I love the plover but there must be a reason in nature they aren't surviving with all the help they've gotten.

  33. Wendy J Hankins people ARENT doing that to them. People havent even been able to sniff a plover. Believe me, the plover police have done a tremendous job. an unbelievably, ferociously aggressive job. Theyre just not cut out for it around here, will you face it? face it! they aint gonna make it! unless dorks like you work in shifts dressed like big Plovers and take turns nursing the fucken things 24/7. Thats NOT part of the natural order of things. If they were meant to survive, they would. But THEY CANT. By ignoring that fact, people like you are the ones who are REALLY f***ing with nature. Not fishermen or beachgoers. Isnt that ironic? YOU are the ones who are messing with nature. Wow. Mind=blown. Why dont you sit down now, as Im sure you're dizzy from having your mind blown. But try not to break your neck. And try not to sit on a plover. On second thought, dont worry about the plover. They were never any good at self-preservation anyway

  34. just think all these people cannot use the park think of how many jobs were lost look at the state of the town it is very sad to see a great fishing paradise shut down for the stupid birds. I live in New Jersey I used to go down for about 2 weeks rent a house shop at the local markets go out to eat spend a ton of money to be shopsfor fishing gear. since the ban on the trucks on the beach I doubt very much on a return and many my friends feel the same way

  35. I am amazed (and ashamed) at the comments here.

    I would like to add one fact about Piping Plovers so that you all understand WHY the beaches are closed to vehicular traffic, as well as kite surfing.
    A Piping Plover chick, 2 hours after hatching from the egg, is on the move, and heads down to the waterline to eat. They are not fed by their parents like most other species; they are on their own for food. The parents simply provide defense from everything they can. They attack Gulls, and will run right at you to get your attention.
    The chicks are tiny little cotten balls with legs and simply cannot be seen by a casual observer. When threatened, they drop to the ground, and look just like a rock or other debris on the beach. Once 2-3 weeks old, they can move pretty fast, but are still juveniles that can not process multiple threats at once.

    I know this because I am a VOLUNTEER Plover Monitor for NH Fish & Game in Hampton, NH. Thats right… at no cost to YOU.

    Just because the numbers are down, does NOT mean we should throw in the towel. It means we need to do everything we can to help this species. I would like to ask ALL of you this. WHO gave you the right to decide what species of bird may live or die? How can you even live with yourselves?
    I am not a tree hugger, and I could care less about the "politics" of the issue. A species of bird needs our help. Simple as that.

    I personally do not think we need to keep people from the beach… just vehicles. And yes, I am sorry, but if you are going to lay your lines out on the sand where the chicks are to prepare your kites, I'm sorry to tell you, but you will kill more chicks than the vehucilar traffic.

    If anyone reading this would like to see photos and a few short video's of Piping Plover chicks, feel free to visit my Facebook page.

  36. The Least Terns are awesome in that regard Joe. We had one chick fledge here in NH right near my area… first one in 50 years! The Terns are awesome in their vicious attacks on the Gulls that would fly over the area, and actually provided air cover at times for the Plovers!

  37. At Capelookout NC there are signs every 50 foot for miles, the liberal clowns at the Park Service have made themself good paying jobs controlling the public from their little con job, there is 120 people employed there with lots of new boats, 4 wheel drive trucks, 4 wheel drive utillity vehicilles, 4 wheelers, lodging all this so they spend the day riding up and down the banks lookin for things washed up on the beach or spend the hot days in their a/c lodge watching tv and playing on their I pads and I forgot about about the police in there battle uniforms armed to the teeth to controll a few fisherman trying to catch supper, and what ever you do, make damn sure your dog is on a leash.

  38. In a few more years they'll all die out on their own and the law will be phased out. Let them die out with the law in tact so they can't blame people for voting out the law then "murdering" the plover population. Then we can all point to how the useless the law, and their mentality, was.

  39. Sorry to tell you Ron, but "The Hippies" numbers are skewed and incorrect. The Piping Plover population is on the rise, not decline. A friend of mine went to a seminar on the cape this past week and the numbers show an increase, not a decline.
    I hope to get my hands on the data and will be presenting this as an alternative to the "Real" situation.

    I sure wish I could understand everyones disdain for this beautiful species of bird.

  40. David Lipsy it's not the birds per se, it's the goverment restricting people's actions. In this case a govermental organization, that was not elected, nor to which the local residents have an appeal. Or at least they seem to not have an appeal. I'm actually not sure if there is an appeal process, I looked it up and the only appeal process I could find was one that forces the goverment to enforce the law, not one that allows citizens to dispute the need for application of it. But something like that ought to be easy to locate in this age of electronic media.

  41. Wendy J Hankins in my 45 years of OBX on Hatteras Island vacationing, I have yet to see one human void the rights of the nesting of anything. I have never seen a human in the roped off areas or driving through them. Never. Nor have I seen evidence of happeneing while not there, i.e. tire tracks or foot prints.

  42. Im a simple man but I have a question for the author of this article. On one hand beach access advocates (including MBBA) recently worked with the town of Orleans, Chatham, MA Department of Natural Heritage, USFWS and other interested parties and increased access while maintaining reasonable protection of Plovers. On the other hand is the attitude that drives articles such as this (which slant the numbers just as badly as extreme bird people are known to do). My question is simple. Which approach do you want taken on your favorite beach? My answer would be to write articles about how we can act like Americans participate in democracy and work to make beaches more accessible. But then again whining online gets a lot more likes on Facebook.

  43. Plovers and seal conservation is not the issue here. It is the tool for the folks who do not want fisherman and buggies out here. Seals are out of control now and have driver the surf fisherman out to other states. After 40 years of surf casting at the cape I. Am out of there and so is Nelson's bait shop in p town Heidi closing his doors this fall

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