Block Island Times

Vehicle restrictions in effect for returning piping plovers

The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in cooperation with the Town of New Shoreham, has implemented a temporary closure of the beach beyond the North Light trail to off-road vehicles due to the impending hatch of piping plover chicks. Those with a Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) permit for beach driving are asked to park vehicles at the posted area near the trail to the North Light, and only proceed further on foot. This closure does not impact pedestrian traffic, though walkers are reminded to keep dogs leashed and away from birds and other wildlife.Piping plovers are federally threatened and protected under the Endangered Species Act. Two pairs of piping plovers nested on Block Island in 2021, for the first time since 2009. Last year, the pair nesting at the north tip of the island successfully fledged three chicks. They are back for the 2022 season and are nesting at the north tip and on Charlestown Beach. After hatch, piping plover chicks are mobile and feed at the shoreline with adults. However, they are very small, camouflaged, and oftencrouch and freeze when they sense danger. This makes them incredibly difficult to see, and puts them at risk

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