Cape Hatteras National Seashore Establishes Pre-nesting Areas for 2016 Shorebird Breeding Season

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Date: March 23, 2016
Contact: Randy Swilling, 252-475-9020

To protect breeding habitat for important shorebirds, Cape Hatteras National Seashore (Seashore) staff are implementing pre-nesting restriction areas on several beach locations. During the winter, staff conducted annual assessments of preferred breeding habitat for piping plover, Wilson’s plover, American oystercatcher and colonial nesting waterbirds. All pre-nesting areas will be marked by April 15 and all informational maps and supporting information will be posted at:

Pre-nesting areas do not impede off-road vehicle (ORV) or pedestrian access. The Pre-nesting areas are established based on the recent breeding history at the Seashore and the actual habitat conditions observed during the annual assessment. As the birds arrive and begin to establish territories, Park staff may be required to modify these delineations depending on where the breeding territories are established. The site-specific restrictions are posted at each location to provide the most accurate and up-to-date indication of access status. The park encourages visitors to observe these unique breeding activities from a safe distance thereby ensuring the continued survival of these species unimpaired for future generations.

ORV permits are available online by visiting website or at the following park locations: Bodie Island Lighthouse Visitor Center (8210 Bodie Island Lighthouse Rd, Nags Head, NC), Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Visitor Center (46368 Lighthouse Road, Buxton, NC), and the Ocracoke Visitor Center (40 Irvin Garrish Highway, Ocracoke, NC). The permit offices are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., year-round, seven days a week, except Christmas Day, with expanded hours on weekends and holidays during the summer season. The cost of an annual permit (valid for the calendar year) is $120. A 7-day ORV permit (valid from the date issued) costs $50.

For more general information, call 252-473-2111 or visit the park webpage at:

Last updated: March 23, 2016

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Mailing Address:

Cape Hatteras National Seashore
1401 National Park Drive

Manteo, NC 27954


(252) 473-2111

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