The Western snowy plover is a federally listed threatened species. This tiny and delicate shorebird was once abundant along the coast of California. Loss of habitat due to coastal development and the encroachment of invasive exotic plant species have left only 1,200 snowy plovers surviving along the coast.
During the snowy plover breeding season from March through September, a handful of breeding pairs attempt to nest and rear their young at northern Santa Cruz beaches.
Unfortunately, people use the beach at the same time snowy plovers do. This presents serious problems for the plovers, as many visitors unintentionally disturb or even trample nesting pairs.
For more information call Native Animal Rescue at (831) 462-0726.