Collier Co. beach areas to close temporarily for nesting shorebirds
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Media contact: Gabriella B. Ferraro (FWC), 772-215-9459;
Sue Leitholf (Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve), 239-417-6310, ext. 232;
Nancy Richie (city of Marco Island), 239-389-5003
Biologists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission (FWC) will post signs and temporarily close some Collier
County beach areas to help protect nesting shorebirds.
- Portions of Big Marco Pass Critical Wildlife Area, known
locally as Sand Dollar Island will be closed as of April 1.
- Caxambas Pass Critical Wildlife Area will be closed as of April
- Areas of Keewaydin Island and Cape Romano Shoals (aka Second
Chance) will be posted by April 21.
- Portions of Marco Island city beach (just south of Tigertail
Beach) will be closed in mid-April.
Areas will remain closed until the end of nesting season in
mid-August or until nesting is complete, whichever comes
The four species
that nest in these protected areas are the least tern, black
skimmer, snowy plover and Wilson's plover.
The FWC is joined in this effort by the city of Marco Island and
the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Rookery Bay
National Estuarine Research Reserve.
Rookery Bay Research Reserve staff will post signs and close
approximately five acres on the southern tip of Keewaydin Island.
They will close approximately three acres on Cape Romano
FWC biologists, with the help of volunteers, manage these areas
to maximize nesting success for these species. Nesting areas
will be closed off with "symbolic fencing," which consists of signs
connected by twine and marked with flagging. These closed
areas protect the nesting birds from unnecessary disturbances and
protect their nests from being accidentally stepped on. All
of these species nest in the open and lay their well-camouflaged
eggs directly on the sand, making them nearly invisible to
predators and to the untrained human eye.
The closed areas on the beaches may change or shift throughout
the nesting season, depending on where the birds have chosen to
nest at any given time.
If you would like more information about
living with beach-nesting shorebirds, go to MyFWC.com/Wildlife,
and download the "Co-existing with Florida's beach-nesting birds"