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Prince Edward Island National Park of Canada

Piping Plover are Incubating Nests!

Piping Plover
© Parks Canada

Several pairs of Piping Plover, an endangered shorebird in Canada, have successfully established nests on the beaches in Prince Edward Island National Park. Early nesting numbers were much better than 2012, but flooding and high water were issues this spring and to date only one clutch of eggs has survived to hatch.

“While there are always challenges, the Piping Plovers are fighting back,” explains Linda Thomas, Resource Conservation technician with Parks Canada. “Since the nests were lost so early, many of the breeding pairs are re-nesting, one pair for a third time. We’re hopeful that these attempts will be successful.”

Parks Canada is taking measures to ensure Piping Plover are protected throughout the breeding season by clearly marking and closing beaches where nesting Piping Plover are present. Nests are so well camouflaged on the beach that most people cannot see them and beach visitors can unknowingly harm plovers.

Updates on the Piping Plover and associated beach closures are available online at our “Plover Watch” page.

“Parks Canada staff are monitoring the status of the Piping Plover and counting down the days to nest hatching,” explains Linda Thomas. “Both parents take turns incubating the nest continuously for a 26-day period, after which the eggs will hatch. Chicks will leave the nest within hours of hatching to feed themselves; however, they are extremely vulnerable and still need protection from adult birds.”

“Islanders and beach users play an important role in the protection and recovery of PEI’s Piping Plover population,” said Parks Canada Ecologist, Paul Giroux. “Everyone can help! Here are a few easy things you can do to make a difference:”

· Keep dogs off beaches in PEI National Park between April 1 and October 15, and keep dogs on leash on all beaches outside the park
· Respect closed areas for Piping Plover
· Walk on wet sand when Piping Plover are seen outside of closed areas
· Report Piping Plover sightings in PEI National Park on our Facebook page
· Volunteer to be a Piping Plover Guardian with Island Nature Trust.

For more information on Piping Plover on provincial beaches or to volunteer to work with this endangered species, please contact Island Nature Trust at 892-7513, visit them online.

For more information about Piping Plover in PEI National Park, please contact us at (902) 672-6350 or leave a message on the PEI National Park Facebook page.

Parks Canada and Island Nature Trust work closely to help recover the endangered Piping Plover who raise families on coastal beaches in PEI and throughout Eastern Canada from mid-April until August.