Official Migratory Bird Havens Now Available in East End Parks

May 16, 2008 by  
Filed under Features

As part of efforts to boost the success rates of nesting birds in the region, some 2 140 acres of state parkland have been set aside on Long Island’s East End as a conservation area. The protected area will be the 50th such designated zone for birds in New York State and will greatly benefit species such as piping plovers and ospreys.

Most of the Napeague State Park is included in the newly defined zone, as is the western side of Hither Hills State Park. Both parks are incredibly popular and see hundreds of visitors annually. Regular park users will be happy to know that the newly designated area will not bring about a prohibition of regular recreational activities formally permitted in the park, and park goers will still be able to go camping. The main reason that the bird haven was created was to ensure that officials give habitat preservation of the many different birds that can be found here the utmost priority. The new bird haven program will also serve to educate the public about birds in the area and ensure that various havens are clearly demarked with new signs.

There are a number of delightful birds living in the new bird haven and it is hoped that these efforts will boost numbers by improving nesting activities. The beaches and marshland around Napeague Harbour provide the perfect habitat for a number of threatened beach-nesting bird species, such as least terns. The area is also widely used by a number of migratory birds that stop over here to feed on insects or fruit before continuing on their way. The marshes are a great place for short-eared owls and northern harriers, while the beaches and dunes are perfect for species such as the piping plover.

The New York bird conservation area program was created in 1997 as part of efforts to safeguard and enhance existing bird populations in a number of state-owned areas. It is not a means to set up new laws within existing laws, but rather serves to educate people, to bolster protection efforts and to assist with management and research projects. The sites selected for the program are chosen for their abundance of birds, and the new East End area is no exception. The Napeague area is one of the largest unbroken maritime zones on Eastern Long Island and so its importance to the bird populations cannot be overstated.

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