By Antonieta Valenzuela and Jonathan Vargas
As part of the “The beach belongs to everyone” campaign, temporary protection fences were installed on El Ciprés beach in Ensenada, Baja California.
The first fence was installed on April 4, 2020, in total it protects an area of 12,621 square meters and is located in front of Pacifica at Ensenada Bay.Other small individual fences for nests that are in areas outside this fence have also been installed, the most recent one being installed on the beach between La Lagunita and Conalep.
The purpose of the fences is precisely to protect the nesting area of snowy plovers so that the nests are not crushed by vehicles or the passage of people.
The snowy plover breeds between April and August and is a bird species of bird classified as threatened by the Mexican Norm NOM-059-SEMARNAT, this means it is susceptible to extinction in the future.
A peculiarity of this species is that it builds its nests on the sand in small holes or scrapes. This makes them too vulnerable, since the nests are camouflaged with the environment and are difficult to see at plain sight.
In addition, cages (also known as excluders or mini enclosures) have been installed to prevent the loss of nests by predators, such as coyotes, foxes, skunks, dogs, cats, and other birds.
These cages are installed where nests are located, and are metal structures of a special size that allow snowy plovers to easily enter and exit. The snowy plover chicks are precocial, that is, at birth they leave the nest in a matter of hours and look for their own food from birth, but they depend on the care of their parents to protect themselves.
How to help
To protect the snowy plover, the population is invited to follow these recommendations:
- Respect the temporary protection fence and do not walk inside it.
- Respect the cages against predators, do not move them or take them away.
- Walk your pet on a leash at all times.
- Maintain a healthy distance from birds, avoid getting close.
- If you see a nest, take a photo of it, get away as soon as possible and contact us via Facebook or email us to firstname.lastname@example.org indicating the location. We will help protect the nest.
- Do not circulate vehicles on the beaches and dunes.
- Don’t litter, garbage cans attract predators, increasing pressure on plovers and nests.
About the campaign
The campaign “The beach belongs to everyone” began in the summer of 2018 with the aim of protecting birds during the breeding season, particularly the snowy plover. Every year between April and August different activities are carried out, such as the installation of a temporary protective fence, awareness activities and monitoring to identify nests and snowy plovers.
Terra Peninsular, Pacifica at Ensenada Bay, the local government and ZOFEMAT participates in the “The beach belongs to everyone” campaign.
In addition, it is carried out thanks to the support of Manomet, Coastal Solutions Fellows Program, Tracy Aviary, and the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN).