Sunday, March 11, 2012

More volunteers needed

Yesterday the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, as well as Audubon Connecticut and the Connecticut Audubon Society, both organizations working as the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds, joined together to help train volunteers to conserve threatened beach-nesting coastal waterbirds. The session went wonderfully with well over 40 enthusiastic volunteers in attendance, many new to this valuable service.

However, for those who could not make it Saturday or missed signing up, you can still join in helping monitor threatened species like the Piping Plover and Least Tern. You can call USFWS Ranger Shaun Roche at (860) 399-2513 or email, or email and the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds will instruct you about how to go about it. We will provide information, videos of the training session, and if you are new to volunteering, time with Master Plover Monitors or seasonal technicians on the beach.

Below is some of the original information for we sent out for potential volunteers so you can get a sense of what to expect as one.


Connecticut's shoreline provides critical habitat for the federally threatened Piping Plover. You can help us conserve this threatened beach-nesting species:

    Do you have an interest in wildlife?
    Do you enjoy walking along the beaches of Long Island Sound?
    Can you spare at least two hours a month to help threatened birds in our state?

Please consider volunteering as a Piping Plover monitor for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service!

For the last several years the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the Connecticut Audubon Society, Audubon Connecticut, The Nature Conservancy and The Friends of Milford Point/Stratford Great Meadows NWR have partnered together to monitor beaches between West Haven and Stratford for nesting Piping Plovers.

These migratory birds return to the Connecticut coast each March from their wintering grounds on the Gulf Coast and stay here up to five months to nest and raise their young.  Located on the beach, their nests are extremely susceptible to human disturbance, destruction by predators, and tidal wash outs. Volunteer monitors make a big difference, enhancing the survival and productivity of plovers and terns in our state.

As a monitors, you will observe and record data about various beach nesting birds and their chicks on a variety of Connecticut beaches. The primary duties involve assisting the USFWS with observation and data collection about nesting Piping Plovers, and helping to educate the public about these species. Volunteers work 4-hour shifts from April until the end of the breeding season (usually in August) and must donate a minimum of 4 hours per month.


Thank you for your interest!

Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbird Conservation, Audubon Connecticut and the Connecticut Audubon Society partnering to improve conditions for coastal waterbirds in Connecticut.

Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation Technician

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