United States Department of the Interior
FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE
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 14th 2015 from 10:30am to 12:00noon at Stratford Point, 1207 Prospect Drive, Stratford, CT 06615; past volunteers will be offered a refresher from 9:00am 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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Reservations are not required; but an e-mail letting us know you will be attending is appreciated.