The Piping Plover, an endangered species, should be returning to Lake Huron’s shoreline within the next two weeks. This will be the eighth year in a row that this small shorebird has nested on Bruce County beaches. Last year there were five nests. To assist with the recovery and ongoing protection of this species, Stewardship Grey Bruce has applied for Species at Risk funding to carry out education and outreach within Bruce and Grey counties. A coordinator will schedule volunteer monitors to ensure on-the-beach coverage while the Piping Plovers are nesting and rearing their young. This monitoring program relies on volunteers from the community. Some may come from organized groups such as the Owen Sound Field Naturalists or the Friends of Sauble Beach. Others may be local residents, cottagers or others coming from a distance to simply enjoy nature and want to help by monitoring the plovers, interacting with beach goers regarding the birds’ habitat requirements and recording the plover’s behaviors. This ‘citizen science’ program is a partnership of organizations including Stewardship Grey Bruce, the Towns of South Bruce Peninsula and Saugeen Shores, the Canadian Wildlife Service, Ontario Parks, and the Ministry of Natural Resources & Forestry, Owen Sound. Anyone interested in volunteering should sign up at www.ploverlovers.com and plan to attend an orientation session on either April 30 from 2 – 4 pm or June 4 from 7 – 9 pm at the Sauble Beach Community Centre.
Norah Toth, Chair, Stewardship Grey Bruce, 1 (519) 376-2918, firstname.lastname@example.org