Enforcement efforts for shorebird protection begins

With Highway 399 opening this week, Gulf Islands National Seashore will implement its effort to protect nesting shorebirds.

Speed limits will be lowered to 25 miles per hour. Radar speed signs and speed humps will be installed. The measures are in place to provide nesting shorebirds and their chicks the best chance to survive during the nesting and fledgling process.

Each year, the seashore is home to nesting habitat for several species of ground nesting shorebirds, including least terns, snowy plovers, Wilson’s plovers and black skimmers. Least terns come from as far away as Central and South America to raise their young.

In addition to the roadway changes, small portions of the seashore are closed to all visitors.

If visitors find themselves besieged by birds, it means you are near an unmarked nesting area or young chicks. Intrusion into nesting areas can cause the birds to take flight, leaving their nests vulnerable to heat and predators.

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