posted Aug 3, 2014, 9:07 AM by PEF Pacifica
updated Aug 3, 2014, 9:23 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 30, 2014
Seasonal fencing to protect the Western Snowy Plover will be installed at Pacifica State Beach starting at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, August 15.
Also known as symbolic fencing, seasonal fencing consists of a set of removable, narrow poles with a line running through a hole at the top. Installed before the birds arrive in early Fall and removed after they leave in late Spring, this visual barrier makes it easy for people to walk around roosting snowy plovers, which are difficult to see. It is a standard tool for protection of shorebirds and has public acceptance at other Bay Area beaches and throughout California.
Protection of the western Snowy Plover at Pacifica State Beach (Linda Mar Beach) has been in process for several years. The symbolic fencing, educational materials, and some of the signage are made possible by a generous grant from the Audubon Society and administered by Sequoia Audubon and Pacifica Shorebird Alliance (PSA), a project of Pacfica's Environmental Family, a 501(c)(3) organization.
PSA is working closely with the City of Pacifica Parks Beaches and Recreation Department and the Pacifica Department of Public Works staff, as well as volunteers from all over the Bay Area and Sequoia Audubon to install the fence and signs.
“With this project, we are excited to highlight that little things do matter when taking care of our shorebirds.” said Noel Blincoe, President of Pacifica Shorebird Alliance.
"Little Things Matter" was the theme and the Snowy Plover was the official honoree species for Earth Day 2014, organized by the Pacifica Beach Coalition (PBC). PBC reaches out to the community and the world, organizing beach clean ups, Earth Day, and many more fun volunteer opportunities. Learn more on their website www.pacificabeachcoalition.org
WHY SYMBOLIC FENCING?
In Pacifica, Snowy Plovers over-winter - usually arriving mid-August and leaving sometime in March or April. During this time they fatten up on rich protein diet of kelp flies, beach hoppers, other insects and small invertebrates washed up on the beach, and occasionally in the back dunes.
When not foraging, snowy plovers nestle down in the sand, low enough to be warmed by radiant heat and still have a view out to the sea. Their primary defense is sitting still and blending in.
These birds are on the federal endangered species list because with so many people now also using the beach, this main method of defense is not enough to keep them from being disturbed. The western Snowy Plover winter roosting population at Pacifica State Beach has declined by 75% over the last 12 years.
HOW YOU YOU CAN HELP:
As always, throw away any trash in the garbage cans so as not to attract predators like ravens and crows. To avoid stressing the birds and other wildlife, please follow leash laws when you bring your pet to the beach. Walk or jog along the wet sand when possible.