As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Thursday, 12 September 2019

‘Unusual’ number of snowy plovers found dead in riding areas of Oceano Dunes last month

SEPTEMBER 08, 2019 05:00 AM, UPDATED SEPTEMBER 08, 2019 12:00 PM

State Parks is urging riders to be cautious in the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area after an “unusual number” of protected snowy plovers were found dead in the riding area of the park last month.

Four snowy plovers were found dead in the SVRA park in the final weeks of August, according to Senior Environmental Scientist Ronnie Glick.

“It is unusual to have that many birds found in the course of a short time period,” Glick told The Tribune in a phone interview Friday.

The four were found between Aug. 19 and Aug. 28. According to Glick, one of the bodies found was too old to be able to determine the cause, while the other three were fresher specimens.

Two of the birds were found in tire tracks in the sand, with evidence of being flattened, while another was found in an area with recent tire tracks, but not in said tracks, according to reports filed with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

“If a bird were to be hit, it would be a violation of the Endangered Species Act, and that is a big deal,” Glick said. “Unfortunately, we don’t have a big enough staff to watch all these birds every hour of the day.”

If someone were visibly observed by a State Parks worker to hit a snowy plover — something that Glick said he did not believe had ever happened at the park — law enforcement would be called in to determine if if that person were driving negligently or in violation of any of the park’s rules.

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