DULUTH, Minn. - A
conservationist group is encouraging the public to stay away from
some areas of Duluth's Park Point beach, after two endangered
piping plovers were spotted there earlier this month.
The St. Louis
River Alliance is hopeful the sighting means that the birds may
decide to nest in the area for the first time in 30 years. The two
birds were seen in the area on May. 5.
"When we see
two of them on our beach here, it's a pretty big deal, because
generally we will see one for a couple of days, and then it will
leave," said Kris Eilers, of the St. Louis River Alliance.
The piping plover
is a small bird, about the size of a robin, with a black band on
its forehead and an orange beak and legs. The birds nest on open
beaches around the Great Lakes, but the development of shoreline
has reduced their habitat.
In 1990, there
were only 12 nesting pairs of piping plovers. That number is at 70
now — in Michigan, Wisconsin and Canada.
Eilers said the
two birds seen in Duluth could be waiting for mates.
very vulnerable," Eilers said. "They like to nest right
where human development is and right where we like to enjoy the
The group and the
city of Duluth are asking the public to stay away from the area
until the nesting season ends in mid-June. They are also asking
that dogs be leashed.
these next couple of weeks are really, extremely critical,"
Eilers said. "We can learn to live alongside of this rare
species and give them some space."