Beachgoers are urged to help recovery efforts of the threatened western snowy plover by respecting nesting areas and beach restrictions during nesting season, March 15 to Sept. 15.

Beachgoers will see signs and ropes that identify sensitive plover nesting areas and list restrictions, including dogs (even on a leash), vehicles, kites, drones, camping and fires.

Nests, and especially chicks, are well-camouflaged. During nesting season, human disturbances can flush adult plovers away from their nests as they attempt to defend their young from the perceived predator. Left alone too long, eggs or chicks can die from exposure, predators or people.

Recreation restrictions occur in designated plover management areas, small stretches of beach along the entire coastline where plovers are nesting or could potentially nest. These areas comprise about 40 miles of Oregon's 362 miles of shoreline. Detailed maps can be found on the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department website.

On these plover beaches, the dry sand and dunes are closed to all access — except along official trails and on the wet sand — to protect eggs and chicks. Visitors may see roped off areas within these plover management areas, which serve to protect the most sensitive habitat; however, all dry sand on both sides of the rope is closed. Wet sand areas on plover beaches remain open to foot and equestrian traffic. All other recreation is off limits, include walking your dog (even on a leash), driving a vehicle, riding a bicycle, camping, fires, and flying kites or drones.

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