Seasonal interns are hired each year to assist with beach nesting bird monitoring (left image) during the spring and summer months. In addition to the piping plover exclosures, interns monitor bird locations and species numbers daily. This information is used to estimate regional numbers of these federally and state threatened and endangered species.
Refuge staff are founding members of the Long Island Invasive Species Management Area. Networking with other members and attending periodic public meetings has helped us realize the most problematic species, develop mapping standards, prioritize treatment regimens and prepare outreach materials.
Unfortunately, much of the habitat adjacent to public-use areas, contain abundant invasive exotic plants such as garlic mustard, Asiatic bittersweet, Japanese honeysuckle, and Japanese barberry.
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Piping plovers, federally-listed as threatened, arrive at the refuge between mid-March and early April. Once a full clutch of eggs has been laid, the refuge erects a wire exclosure around the nest. This keeps predators away from the nest, while allowing the birds to come and go. Interns monitor hatching and fledging rates.