March 14, 2013
Park Service establishes prenesting
areas for shorebird breeding season
Between Jan. 28
and Feb. 8, National Park Service NPS Resources Management staff
conducted an annual assessment of breeding habitat for piping plovers,
Wilson’s plovers, American oystercatchers, and colonial waterbirds in
the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.
assessment, preferred habit was located and prenesting areas for piping
plovers, Wilson’s plovers and American oystercathers, weather and
shoreline conditions permitting, will be installed by March 15.
Prenesting areas for colonial waterbird sites will be installed by
The 2013 breeding habitat assessment and
prenesting maps are posted on the NPS PEPC website under the Document
List for the ORV Management Plan/EIS and Rulemaking project at: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/parkHome.cfm?parkID=358
prenesting closure areas are based on the recent breeding history of
the respective protected species at the seashore and the actual habitat
conditions observed during the annual assessment.
most prenesting areas, pedestrian access is allowed along the shoreline
below the ocean high-tide line until such time that shorebird breeding
activity is observed, then standard species-specific buffers will be
implemented. Dogs are generally prohibited in the pedestrian
shoreline access corridor below the high-tide line adjacent to the
prenesting closures and within any posted resource closure, but
properly leashed dogs are otherwise allowed in open ORV routes and
The site-specific restrictions are posted at
each location with on-site signage and is the most accurate and
up-to-date indication of access status.
addition, on March 15 the Bodie Island Spit seasonal ORV route from 0.2
mile south of Ramp 4 to the inlet will be changed to a seasonal Vehicle
Free Area in accordance with the designated ORV routes identified in
the special regulation. The area is currently open to
pedestrians, and the seasonal ORV route will reopen to vehicle use on
Sept. 15. The designated year-round ORV route from 0.5 of a mile
south of Coquina Beach to 0.2 of a mile south of Ramp 4 remains open to
vehicles with access via Ramp 4.
ORV permits are available at
Coquina Beach, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Visitor Center in Buxton,
and the Ocracoke Visitor Center. The permit offices are open from
8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., year-round, seven days a week, except Christmas
Day, with expanded hours on weekends and holidays during the summer
season. The cost of an annual permit (valid for the calendar
year) is $120. A seven-day ORV permit (valid from the date
issued) costs $50.
The seashore’s interactive Google
Earth map has been updated to reflect these changes. The map is
available on-line at: http://www.nps.gov/caha/planyourvisit/googleearthmap.htm During the summer season, this map is subject to frequent changes and on-site signage provides current conditions.
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