Maine Audubon and MDIFW seeking witness in Piping Plover case

Media Releasechick


July 16, 2013

Contact: Michelle Smith, Maine Audubon (207) 838-0511

Doug Rafferty, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (207) 287-5248

Scarborough – Maine Audubon, Maine Game Wardens and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service are seeking a witness in the death of protected Piping Plover chick on Pine Point Beach in Scarborough.

At approximately 10 am on Monday, July 15, a woman spotted a dog on the beach with its owner. As the dog approached a plover chick, she warned the owner to call the dog back, but the owner allegedly paid no attention and the dog then proceeded to kill one of the chicks.

The woman later brought the chick to Maine Audubon which took custody of it and notified authorities. She did not leave her name or contact information. Maine Game Wardens and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service would like to speak with the woman to gather additional information about the bird’s death.

Piping plovers are listed as an endangered species in Maine and are threatened under federal law. The Piping Plover Recovery Project, a collaboration between the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Maine Audubon, the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands, and municipalities, works to educate the public about plover nesting areas to ensure their protection and increase their population.

Last year, there were only 42 nesting pairs in the state, from Ogunquit to Georgetown. Plovers nest in front of sand dunes on the upper beach and are vulnerable to natural predators, roaming pets, storms and human disturbance. MDIFW and Maine Audubon encourages beachgoers and landowners to reduce human-caused mortality of plovers by leaving your pets at home when you go to the beach, staying away from roped off plover areas and to watch where you are walking on the beach, to avoid stepping on nests.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Sgt. Tim Spahr at (207) 557-0895.