Protecting the Piping Plover

In May of 2010, the Piping plovers returned once again to Wasaga Beach Provincial Park – for the third year in a row! The spring and summer of 2010 has been both rewarding and challenging, as four nests were lost as the result of natural predation and weather. The first nest of the season, with four eggs, was abandoned after the male plover mysteriously disappeared. It is likely that the cause of his disappearance was predation.

The second nest, which only had one egg at the time, was covered by sand during a storm and the female disappeared soon after.

For the first time since the Piping plovers arrived in 2005, a nest of two eggs was discovered at the point, a protected section of the beach. This nest, the third of the season, was unfortunately abandoned by the male, after the female disappeared.

The eggs from nest four were predated by crows after the female plover surprisingly rejected the protective predator exclosure, which was installed and removed by Ontario Parks and the Ministry of Natural Resources. After the loss of their eggs, the pair quickly re-nested and the new chicks are due to hatch at the end of July.

The chicks will remain on the beach until they fledge and migrate south for the winter.

To show your support for the precious species at risk, check out our new Piping Plover merchandise at any park store.