Court victory greets returning plovers
In August 2010, a federal judge upheld the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s designation of critical habitat for the wintering piping plover population at Cape Hatteras National Seashore, ensuring the shorebirds are protected all year round. Defenders of Wildlife backed the designation and intervened in the February 2009 court challenge from a group of off-road vehicle users. And thanks in part to another 2007 Defenders’ lawsuit that resulted in new limits on beach driving in shorebird nesting areas, piping plover nesting activity has dramatically improved.
Final Rules to Protect Plovers in Place
In January 2012, the National Park Service announced new rules to manage off-road vehicle traffic on beaches so nesting and baby sea turtles and birds as well as pedestrians are protected in Cape Hatteras National Seashore. The long-awaited rules are the final step in a process agreed to by all parties concerned about beach driving in the national seashore, including Defenders of Wildlife.