West Dennis Beach Closed After Death Of Two Piping Plovers

Piping Plover

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DENNIS, Mass. (WBZNewsRadio) - A one-mile stretch of a popular Cape Cod beach has been shut down indefinitely, after two piping plovers were accidentally killed by a car on Friday night.

The entire non-resident parking lot at West Dennis Beach will remain closed, barring any cars, motorcycles, or even e-bikes from entering. Eve Schlüter, a spokesperson for MassWildlife, says even after population increases for the plovers in the last three decades, the shorebirds are still a threatened species.

"Under the Endangered Species Act, any real disturbance to this species is potentially harmful," Schlüter said. "We've definitely seen impacts to nest productivity when nests are abandoned."

Dennis Town Administrator Elizabeth Sullivan did not respond to WBZ NewsRadio's request for comment.

In 2017, a family of piping plovers prompted the closure of more than 800 parking spaces at West Dennis Beach. Last month, the town of Barnstable had to call off the 4th of July fireworks display, the largest on Cape Cod, in an effort to protect known populations of nesting piping plovers in the area.

WBZ NewsRadio's Tim Dunn (@ConsiderMeDunn) reports:

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