Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Protect It....and They Will Come...Back...

Pure Sweetness by Sheen's Nature Photography

Pure Sweetness , a Piping Plover photo by Sheen's Nature Photography on Flickr.
Nature photographers love to get up close and personal with their subjects. In addition to lighting and location there is one crucial element that has to happen before we even get started. The thriving and surviving of our subjects' habitat.

Many articles, documentaries and environmentalists have so much information that it can be overwhelming. Throughout all of their research there is a common thread - awareness and protection.

Let's take the precious Piping Plover which has been on the Michigan endangered list since 1986.  Natural predators are foxes, crows, gulls, etc. combined with human disturbance.

Additionally, to quote Kay Charter, founder of Saving Birds Thru Habitat "It's not only humans that cause problems, an increase in many other species that predate on these ground nesters take an incredible toll. We can all help by giving them their space and by keeping our pets away from their nesting and foraging areas." The Piping Plover's protection is their camouflage - with their nests being on the ground they are exposed to many hazards. If disturbed too much, they will abandon their nests.

The Piping Plover has not been seen in the Northern Leelanau Michigan area for 8 years. Yet this year there are 2 families about 5 miles apart with chicks being born just last week.
Nap Time - Piping Plover Chick,  Sheen's Nature Photography 

So what brought them back? Hopefully, it's the optimal environment for breeding for sustained livelihood on the peninsula!

For many years, dedicated organizations like The Leelanau Conservancy are intentional about every action they take with regard to protecting land and the environment.  Over the course of time they have forever protected 10,000 acres of spectacular views, sensitive wetlands and working farms.

Members of  The Leelanau Conservancy have also been communicating frequently with Saving Birds Thru Habitat and the Department of Natural Resources on the recent return of the Piping Plover. It takes multiple organizations and individuals partnering to document activities, safeguard their environment to bring future returns.                                                                                                                

These little juveniles have a 30% chance of survival to adulthood - they need a lot of help!
Proud Papa Piping Plover, by Sheen's Nature Photography