Vandals used an ATV to damage a piping plover nest and signs warning the public about the birds on a beach near Port aux Basques.
Piping plover —Submitted photo
Russell Wall, an environmental technician for Intervale, said all beaches that have plovers received these signs, but one in particular had signs vandalized.
Big Barachois Beach had signs at the entrance and four on the beach - two for each nest, said Wall.
He said at one nest, there are ATV tracks leading right to and over the signage that was placed to ask people to refrain from being in that area, and to keep to the water’s edge.
Wall said that at the second nesting area, ATV tracks were also present on either side of the nest, indicating the ATV had run clear over the nest.
He said that although it looks to be damage caused by ATVs he cannot say for sure, without physical evidence.
The piping plover has become very well known on the southwest coast and for Intervale Associates, the monitoring and conservation of the little bird has become very important.
The company provides programs and services that educate the public in the fields of conservation, and one of its most recent actions has been to place signage at the entrance and near nesting piping plovers.
The purpose of the signage is to let people know the beach has piping plovers, and to warn people they may be near a nest.
Intervale has a monitoring program for the piping plover, and Wall said once a week there are teams out checking numbers and progress.
He said late June up until the beginning of August is hatching season for the birds, and they have already had a slower start to the season than last year.
This year seven pairs and one single are being monitored compared to nine pairs last year.
Wall would like to remind beach users and ATV users of the signage that is in place, and to keep to the lower parts of the beach.