SCARBOROUGH, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The nests of endangered piping plovers, burrowed into the sand on beaches from Ogunquit to Reid State Park, bore the full brunt of a recent storm, wiping out dozens, causing major concern among wildlife biologists.
"We had about 39 active pairs, and we are down to 6 that have still survived, so that is rough," said Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife biologist, Judy Camuso. "We are still doing triage and trying to figure everything out, but that is tough, and we were off to such a great, great start."
The storm arrived at the same time as an astronomical high tide, sending waves crashing down on the fragile nests which are normally located on the fringe of dune grass knolls.
"Right now, if I can make one plea to people, is that these birds have had a really hard week and they need help," she said. "So anything the public can do, and the number one thing they can do is to keep their pets off the beaches right now, at least off the portions of the beaches where the birds are nesting, and give the birds the space that they need so they can quickly re-nest and get some eggs laid and we'll try to get some productivity for the season."
Because the birds scattered during the storm, biologists are also asking that if people come across nests that do not have signage and fencing around them to contact them at 657-2345 ext. 109 so they can provide the birds the support they need to survive.