October 1, 2015. For breeding western snowy plovers—small, federally protected shorebirds that nest along the Pacific coast—the list of predators is long. Predation management for the species serves to control some of the bird’s most common predators—including coyotes, foxes, crows, and ravens—but less so for others, like raptors.
The first nest was found on April 18 on Santa Monica State Beach, followed by discovery of a nest on Dockweiler State Beach on April 27, and two nests on Malibu Lagoon State Beach on April 28 and May 4. The nests were discovered by monitors with Los Angeles Audubon and The Bay Foundation. Following their discovery, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) biologists installed small wire cages around each nest to protect the eggs from predators and human disturbance.
“This is a sign that, against all odds, western snowy plovers are making a comeback, and we really need the cooperation of beachgoers to help give them the space they need to nest and raise their young,” said senior fish and wildlife biologist Chris Dellith with the Service’s Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office. “I’m hopeful that we can find a balance between beach recreation and habitat restoration, which will allow humans and shorebirds like the western snowy plover to peacefully exist along our coastline.”