Service releases its 2010 annual reports on protected species
Park Service has released the Cape Hatteras National Seashore 2010
annual reports for protected species and a report on the status of its
off-road vehicle management.
The following 2010 reports have been posted on the park planning (PEPC)
website under the Interim Protected Species Management Strategy
Piping plover annual report
Sea turtle annual report
Seabeach amaranth annual report
Colonial waterbird summary
American oystercatcher summary
Status of off-road vehicle management plan and negotiated rulemaking
Cape Hatteras National Seashore annual law enforcement report
Some of the highlights of this year’s report:
2010 was a good year for piping plovers on the seashore. Twelve
breeding pairs were identified, the most since 1996 when 14 were
observed. Nests were documented at Cape Point, South Beach, North
Ocracoke Spit, and South Point on Ocracoke. Fifteen chicks
fledged last year from six broods for a fledge rate of 1.25 chicks per
breeding pair. That is the highest number of fledged chicks
record keeping began at the seashore.
2010 was also a good year for sea turtles. A record number of
turtles nests – 153 – were documented at the seashore this
It was also a good year for sea turtle nesting in other areas of North
Carolina and along the rest of the southeast coast, where records were
set in other areas.
Once again, the annual surveys turned up no seabeach amaranth plants on
the seashore. None have been found here since 2005.
Colonial waterbirds nesting appeared to be down in 2010, compared to
2009, even though resource protections were similar both years. The
Park Service says that one explanation for the high nest numbers in
2009 is that early season storms forced the birds to abandon their
first nesting attempts on the offshore islands and nest in larger
numbers on the seashore. There were no early season storms in 2010 and
the nesting numbers on the seashore declined.
American oystercatchers also had a good year on the seashore.
Fifteen pairs of oystercatchers were successful in fledging 30
chicks. The fledge rate of 1.3 per pair is the highest since
monitoring began at the seashore.
In its status report on off-road vehicle rulemaking, the Park Service
confirmed what officials told Judge Terrence Boyle in a status
conference last year – that the final rule will not be ready by April
1, as required by the consent decree. Now, the Park Service says the
final rule will be completed this summer and will be implemented in the
The annual law enforcement report says that last year, park rangers
issued 558 citations, 502 written warnings, and 3,774 verbal
warnings. The Park Service says there was increased emphasis
2010 on documenting verbal warnings. Citations and written
warnings were 1,060, compared to 458 in 2008 and 1,095 in 2009.
You can read the entire reports at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/document.cfm?parkID=358&projectID=13331&documentID=38808
Federal Judge Terrence Boyle, who is overseeing the consent decree that
settled a lawsuit against the Park Service, is expected to schedule
another status conference on the reports and the ORV plan later this