The Golden Gate Audubon Society is reporting that the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service designated 24,527 acres along the Pacific Coast as critical habitat for endangered Western Snowy Plovers — an important step towards ensuring the species’ recovery and ultimate survival.
The FWS action ends several years of legal conflict over how much land would be designated as critical habitat for the plovers, and doubles the acreage initially proposed in 2005.
While the FWS didn’t include any habitat along the San Francisco coastline, its action will benefit the Snowy Plovers that over-winter at Ocean Beach and Crissy Field by protecting their breeding grounds along the Pacific Coast.
The Snowy Plover — a six-inch shorebird weighing up to two ounces – was first listed under the federal Endangered Species Act in 1993. Its major nesting sites had dropped from more than 50 to fewer than 30. Today, approximately 2,500 plovers remain breeding along the Pacific Coast.
The photo above was taken at Doran Beach by Len Blumin.
More information about the Western Snowy Plover can be found HERE.