Karl Overman: Birds and more


The Endangered Species Act has had a beneficial impact on the numbers of Piping Plover.  On the Great Lakes the species is breeding in more locations, often after decades of being absent as a breeder, for example Bay County, Michigan where it bred in 2010. For decades it didn’t breed in Ontario and now it does again.   The Tawas Point birds on Lake Huron also fall into this category because for thirty years or more the species Michigan breeding population was limited to Lake Michigan and Superior. The juvenile from Grand Marias on Lake Superior is at a location that has been a key breeding location for the species even at its most threatened.  A recent peril for the spcies at Grand Marais has been the dramatic increase in the numbers of breeding Merlin in the Upper Peninsula.  Before measures were taken to protect these plovers from Merlins, such as having breeding cages as shown below, Merlins were wiping out the species locally.

There has been a cost to those that use the beaches of this country, an often underestimated cost by environmentalists and this has generated hostility toward the Endangered Species Act as evidence by the bumper sticker on sale in a store in Hatteras, North Carolina and illustrated below.


Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus)

modified March 5, 2020