Maine’s piping plover numbers on the rise

FALMOUTH, Maine (AP) – Maine Audubon says the number of piping plovers along the state’s beaches is on the rise.

Wildlife ecologist Jody Jones told WMTW-TV that a survey this month counted 27 pairs of plovers. That’s up from 24 pairs in last year’s survey, but is down from the 66 pairs that were recorded in 2002.

Jones credited the increase to a lack of high tides during part of the spring, a decline in predators and efforts by municipalities to protect the birds’ beach nesting areas.

The bird is protected under the Endangered Species Act.

This year’s survey was done by volunteers and professionals from groups including the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, Maine Audubon and municipalities.

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