No Plovers Yet, But River Alliance Still Hopeful
Posted at: 09/19/2012 10:44 PM
By: Dayna Landgrebe
The endangered piping plover birds haven't returned to the Twin Ports just yet, but an advocacy group gave an update on their progress on Wednesday night.
Several interested folks turned out to hear the latest report at Duluth's Hartley Nature Center. The St. Louis River Alliance is spear-heading the five-year project, which is funded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Julene Boe with the River Alliance said it's been more than 30 years since the birds where here and their loss has taken its toll.
"It's an endangered species and one of the issues that has impacted the St. Louis River is loss of fish and wildlife population," Boe said.
Boe said one of the biggest deterrents to the plover has been an increased population of seagulls. She said while they birds have become more accustomed to humans, dogs on the beaches have been a nuisance to nesting pairs.
"We've been successful at bringing some fish back like the [lake] sturgeon. And the piping plover would really be a great goal to bring them back. The Fish and Wildlife Service has this goal to bring back nesting pairs to the Great Lakes. This is really a good spot for them, so they'll come."
Boe said this will likely be the last public outreach meeting of the year, but folks can find more information at www.slcriver.org or by calling the St. Louis River Alliance at (218) 733-9520.