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Bulldozers and piping plovers don’t mix

The Sun Times,
Owen Sound,
February 6 2019

RE: SBP mayor optimistic the town and PC government can resolve beach maintenance issue at Sauble.

So the town maintains that piping plovers prefer a “clean beach”? Such a view, often repeated by Mayor Jackson, stems from wishful thinking or woeful ignorance at best.

In fact, piping plovers prefer lightly vegetated areas with wrack lines, swales and seeps, where there is cover from predators and lots to eat (beetles, ants, caterpillars and other invertebrates).

The town’s use of bulldozers and excavators to uproot vegetation and level and lay bare the beach shows disregard for the welfare of this highly endangered species. That the town removed snow-fencing erected by local volunteers to rebuild an eroded dune adds insult to injury.

Since the return of the plovers to Sauble Beach in 2007 these volunteers have worked tirelessly to watch over them and help ensure successful nesting. Dismayed at the town’s actions in 2017 a few of these volunteers reached out to Ontario Nature and asked us to get involved. And so we did, with deep gratitude for their unfailing dedication to this remarkable bird.

Dr. Anne Bell, Ontario Nature