Posts Tagged ‘set aside’

The Feds Make a Deal to Set Aside More Space for Western Snowy Plovers, San Francisco’s Cutest Birds

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

The Center for Biological Diversity is crowing about more room being designated for the Western Snowy Plover along the west coast.

San Francisco isn’t getting more space for these critters but they already have as much as they need here now, not that some area dog owners agree with the way things are these days.

Anyway, here are some San Francisco Snowy Plovers and the also the deets of the new agreement with the Feds are below.

(Oh, and remember, as always, plover rhymes with lover.)

A snowy plover on Ocean Beach _not_ being harassed by a dog:

Now, Ocean Beach Dog, ooh, somebody over there got an off-leash ticket from the Feds a looooong time ago. (Can you guess what year by looking at the website design? Sure you can.) Oh well. Well, the Feds don’t like Ocean Beach Dog and people what behave like Ocean Beach Dog. The Feds consider us Whacko City, USA because of outfits like OBD, oh well.

Most dogs don’t bother the boids, of course. Can you see the snowy plover?

But some dogs do harass the birds. (These aren’t actually snowy plovers near Lawton and the Great Highway but the dogs don’t know or care about that.)

(Get those Ocean Beach birds, good boy!)

And here’s the sitch up in Crissy Field:

See the birds, see the unleashed dog?

Is is surprising to you that an unleashed dog could find and chase these plovers? What was surprising to me was to hear that this particular boid flew up from Morro Bay (where it was banded and which is like way south of here) all the way up to the Marina District:

Keep on keeping on, plovers:

More Than 24,000 Acres of Critical Habitat Protected for Western Snowy Plover

PORTLAND, Ore.— In response to a Center for Biological Diversity lawsuit, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today designated 24,527 acres (38 square miles) of critical habitat to protect the Pacific Coast population of threatened western snowy plovers in Washington, Oregon and California.

“Protecting critical habitat will help this lovely shorebird continue on the path to recovery,” said Tierra Curry, a conservation biologist at the Center. “Species with federally protected habitat are more than twice as likely to be moving toward recovery than species without it, so this puts a big safety net between plovers and extinction.”

Western snowy plovers breed primarily on beaches in southern Washington, Oregon, California and Baja California. Today’s designation includes four critical habitat units in Washington (covering 6,077 acres), nine units in Oregon (covering 2,112 acres) and 47 units in California (covering 16,337 acres).

Snowy plovers were listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act in 1993, when the coastal population had dropped to 1,500 birds and plovers no longer bred at nearly two-thirds of their former nesting sites. That Endangered Species Act protection allowed the population to increase to more than 3,600 adults by 2010.

Plovers are recovering but still face many threats, including widespread and frequent disturbance of nesting sites by humans, vehicles and off-leash dogs; crushing by off-road vehicles; global climate change; pesticide use; and habitat loss.

The western snowy plover was first granted 19,474 acres of critical habitat in 1999. In 2005 the Bush administration illegally reduced the critical habitat to 12,145 acres, eliminating protection for thousands of acres scientists believed necessary for the snowy plover’s survival and abandoning key habitat areas crucial for recovery. In 2008 the Center sued over the unlawful reduction of the plover’s habitat protections, leading to a settlement agreement with the Service and today’s revised designation.

Today’s final rule includes the reinstatement of habitat areas identified by government scientists as essential that were improperly withdrawn in 2005; inclusion of some areas not currently occupied by plovers but important for their recovery; and addition of habitats such as back-dune systems in an attempt to offset anticipated effects of sea-level rise caused by climate change.

The western snowy plover is a shy, pocket-sized shorebird that weighs less than two ounces and lives for three years. Plovers forage for worms, insects and crustaceans in wet sand and in kelp that has washed ashore. The word “plover” is thought to come from the Old French”plovier” or “rain bird” because plovers were seen on sandy French beaches during spring rains.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 375,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.”

Oh, and also remember that San Francisco is for Plovers: