Collier Co. beach areas to close temporarily for nesting shorebirds
Monday, March 29, 2010
Media contact: Gabriella B. Ferraro (FWC), 772-215-9459; Beverly Anderson (Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve), 239-417-6310, ext. 405; Nancy Richie (City of Marco Island), 239-389-5003
Biologists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Commission (FWC) will post signs and 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 7. Caxambas Pass
Critical Wildlife Area, portions of Marco Island Beach and portions
of Keewaydin Island will be closed as of April 8. 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.
Approximately five acres (south of Tigertail
Lagoon) of Marco Island Beach will be temporarily closed for
nesting season. Rookery Bay Research Reserve staff will post
signs and close approximately five acres on the southern tip of
Keewaydin Island. The area will remain closed until the end
of nesting season in mid-August.
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
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 Florida's
shorebirds, go to the " Living with Wildlife" area under
MyFWC.com/Wildlife, and download the "Co-existing with Florida's
beach-nesting birds" brochure.