Friday, January 23, 2009

Out and about with your Mentee

A new opportunity has come up for Mentors and their Mentee's. Come get involved in a hands on program that is looking out for our wildlife...

Snowy Plover chicks with their parent - July 18, 2008 Photo - Coal Oil Point Reserve

The Western Snowy Plover is a tiny shore bird that breeds on the Pacific coast from southern Washington to southern Baja.The Pacifc coast population consists of approximately 1,800 breeding paits and 3,500 - 4,000 wintering individuals. Plover nesting season is February through late September and on the California coast, nests usually appear by the tihrd week of March. Plovers eat the sand flies and other arthropods (bugs) that are attracted to decaying seaweed. Their nests generally consist of a shollow scrape lined with beach debris and typically occur in flat, open, sandy areas with little vegetation. They typically lay three eggs and their nests are found within 100 meters of water.

The last known breeding pair in Los Angeles County was recorded in Manhattan Beach in 1949. Between 260-334 spent the winter in LA County between 2004-2006, but they don't, won't, or can't nest here because of increased habitat disturbance like: beaching grooming and the consequent removal of nesting and foraging habitat; off-leash dogs; increased beach visitors; and, increased vehicle use on beaches.

Snowy Plovers were listed as Federally Threatened on March 5, 1993. LA Audubon is working with biologists, state and federal agencies, conservation organizations and volunteers on a Federal Recovery Plan (USFWS 2007). Out goal is to get Plovers breeding in LA County once again. We are currently working on study designed to determine which beaches, and where on those beaches, in LA County Plovers like to hang out. We provide that info to agency staff and managers and make recommendations to help protect the Plovers on LA beaches so that one day they may again nest and breed in Los Angeles County!

Join LA Audubon on a visit to Malibu (or another LA Co beach) to monitor Snow Plovers! Your help will be greatly appreciated! Our 2009 schedule is:

Feb 6-12
Mar 7-13 beach-wide
Apr 5-11
May 4-10 beach-wide (dependent on USFWS window)
June 2-8
July 17-23
Aug 14-210
Sep 12-18 beach-wide
Oct 12-19
Nov 13-19
Dec 11-17

We will be having a training at the end of February, although this is not required to participate. If you'd like to join us, pleased contact:
Mary Loquvam
Executive Director
Los Angeles Audubon Society

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