Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Volunteers Needed for Shorebird Monitoring

AAfCW is proud to continue our active conservation, education and outreach work for a third season with our state and federal partners due in part to funding from the NFWF Long Island Sound Futures Fund. Below is a news release from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service ahead of the 2014 shorebird monitoring season in Connecticut. You can also find the original document to download by clicking here. Please note that there will be two training sessions, one for past monitors and one for new volunteers, and that the location has changed from previous years. If you previously volunteered as a monitor you will be contacted by the USFWS for more information about the refresher session soon.

 United States Department of the Interior

Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge
733 Old Clinton Road
Westbrook, Connecticut 06498-1030
Phone: 860-399-2513 Fax: 860-399-2515

         To be Released: Immediately                                        Contact: Shaun Roche
                             Phone: (860) 399-2513

Subject:  Volunteers Needed for Shorebird Monitoring

Spend your summer days at the beach and help protect a federally threatened species! The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and its partners are seeking volunteers to monitor piping plovers and other shorebirds from early April until late August at beaches across our state.  A training and orientation session for new volunteers will be held on Saturday, March 15th 2014 from 10:30am to 12:00noon at the Kellogg Environmental Center at 500 Hawthorne Ave. Derby, CT; past volunteers will be offered a refresher from 9:00 to 10:15am.  The sessions will review the following: biology of the piping plover, how to monitor breeding pairs and chicks, volunteer organization and logistics, and law enforcement information.

Atlantic Coast populations of piping plovers return to the Connecticut coast in March from their wintering grounds on the Gulf Coast and Caribbean.  The cryptic nests of the piping plover are extremely susceptible to human disturbance, predation, and tidal wash outs. To enhance the survival and productivity of birds breeding in Connecticut, an annual monitoring partnership is cooperatively sponsored by Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service), Audubon Connecticut, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the Connecticut Audubon Society, the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History and The Nature Conservancy.  

Working at locations across coastal Connecticut, our volunteers observe the shorebirds, record and report nesting data, and educate the beach-going public about the monitoring program. Volunteers work 4 hour shifts from April until the end of the breeding season (usually in August) and must donate a minimum of 4 hours per month. The work can be very rewarding, as volunteers will have the opportunity to positively impact nesting success for threatened shorebirds across the state.

For more information on the training session or for directions, please email USFWS Visitor Services Manager Shaun Roche at shaun_roche@fws.gov.  Reservations are not required; but an e-mail letting us know you will be attending is appreciated. 


Detailed directions to the CT DEEP Kellogg Environment Center can be found on their website in this PDF file. Below is a Google map of where the site is. Click the route arrow in the upper right of the white box with the address below to be taken to Google Maps to plug in your starting address for specific and complete directions.

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