PT. REYES NATIONAL SEASHORE – A stretch of beach along the Point Reyes National Seashore will be closed over the long holiday weekend to protect snowy plovers during nesting season, park officials said.
Each year the beach is closed between the North Beach parking lot and the mouth of Abbotts Lagoon during nesting season for the federally-threatened snowy plovers, according to the National Park Service.
The closure is effective Saturdays, Sundays and holidays through Monday Sept. 5.
The snowy plovers' nesting season is already well underway and fewer visitors in the area will minimize disturbances to the nests, chicks, and breeding adults, park officials said.
"Last year we had a fledge count of 22, the highest count since 2017, and that is really something to celebrate. We had only 11 chicks in 2020," said Dave Press, acting Natural Resources Program Lead.
"We are optimistic for this year, and we appreciate public support for these weekend closures to help protect the snowy plovers," Press said.
So far this year, 19 nests have been found on Point Reyes beaches - five on Limantour Beach, three in the Abbotts Lagoon restoration area, and 11 between Abbotts Lagoon and North Beach parking lot. Six nests have already hatched on North Beach and Limantour Beach.
The birds' breeding season begins in mid-March and lasts until mid-September, according to the park service. Two to three eggs are laid and incubated by both male and female birds for about 28 days.
More information about snowy plovers and general park information is available at https://www.nps.gov/pore/learn/nature/birds_snowyplover_updates.htm .
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