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Contact: Jeff Cordes, 252-728-2250 ext. 3013
Cape Lookout National Seashore, Harkers Island, NC- The first of three piping plover nests at the point of the Cape successfully hatched Friday. A temporary vehicle closure on the ocean beach on the west side of the point is now in affect. The closure will only be in place until the chicks are able to fly. Pedestrians and fishing will still be allowed on the ocean beach in this area. Vehicles may continue to access the point of the Cape via the eastern side.
The park currently manages threats to this bird by closing nesting areas to people, vehicles, and pets and protecting nests from predators with fence and bird netting. After nests hatch, piping plover chicks can travel over ¼ mile from nesting areas seeking areas to feed. Chicks moving to the ocean beach are in danger of being run over by off-road vehicles and have difficulty moving through deep ruts in the sand created by vehicles.
Thirty pairs of piping plovers have made nesting attempts at Cape Lookout National Seashore this year. So far, seven chicks have fledged.