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Posted on: June 28, 2017

Good Harbor Beach - Piping Plovers

The City of Gloucester is asking for some help and cooperation out at Good Harbor Beach with regard to protected wildlife.  As you may have heard through recent newspaper stories and other published articles, the Beach is now the (temporary) home of four newly hatched Piping Plover Chicks.  Piping Plovers are an endangered species in Massachusetts and are protected from harm or disturbance by federal law.  A nesting area for the chicks has been established at the beach and has been monitored and maintained through the combined efforts of the Gloucester Conservation Office and the Essex County Greenbelt Association.  The chicks will be protected and monitored for the next several weeks until they fledge (learn to fly) and disperse from the area.

The chicks are currently extremely vulnerable and every effort is being taken to maintain an undisturbed nesting/ranging area for their protection.  We ask all visitors to please avoid the area to the extent possible and to exercise extreme care from walking in thenesting  area as the chicks are often very hard to see and can be hurt or killed by as little as a stray footstep.  Monitors are on site during most daylight hours and the City encourages visitors to speak with these representatives and to view the birds from a safe distance.  The birds will range over the beach, from dune to the water's edge, so the City also asks, fisitors in the vicinity of the nesting area to be very careful with walking or recreational activities to ensure that the birds are not harmed.  The monitors may occasionally approach you to inform you of the nearby presence of a plover, please take care and be respectful. Your cooperation i essential to ensure that these rare and beautiful birds mature, thrive and contribute to the "comeback" of this once abundant species.

We take this opportunity to remind GHB visitors that, at this time of the year, dogs whether leashed or unleashed are not allowed on the beach.  At least one of Piping Plover chicks, possibly more, was lost last year due to a dog "mishap," and we are making every effort to keep this from reoccurring.

We want you to enjoy your visit to Good harbor Beach.  We want the Piping Plovers to enjoy it as well.  Thank you for your care and cooperation. More information is available at the Gloucester Conservation Office at 978-325-5233.

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