Two Snowy Plover nest enclosures were damaged within 24 hours this past week.
Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation Shorebird Biologist Audrey Albrecht contacted police Tuesday, April 6 and reported while she was setting up a Snowy Plover nest enclosure at around 9:30 a.m., she had observed a man riding a three-wheeled electric bicycle eastbound on the beach behind Surfside 12, 585 E. Gulf Dr.
A man on an electric bicycle was later observed by a witness riding directly through the finished nest enclosure causing damage to the wooden stakes and rope to fall to the ground. SCCF Volunteer Barbara Kallman, assisted by bystanders on the beach, repaired the enclosure and reported the incident to Albrecht, who returned to the scene to survey the nest.
Albrecht reported the nest and eggs did not appear damaged, but said she was concerned the Snowy Plover may abandon the nest due to the bicyclist riding through it.
The following day, April 7, SCCF Volunteer Susan Beittel reported to police a second nest enclosure had been damaged at the beach in the area of Shell Island Beach Club, 255 Periwinkle Way. Beittel said someone had pulled up and broke some of the wooden stakes around the Snowy Plover nest enclosure overnight.
Snowy Plovers are a protected species under the U.S. Migratory Bird Treat Act and are a state-designated threatened species by Florida’s Endangered and Threatened Species Rule, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Due to their protected status, Sanibel Police reported the April 6 incident to the Florida Wildlife Conservation and a FWC officer was dispatched to the scene. It was the first Snowy Plover nest of the season.
Adam Williams of Omaha, Neb., was traveling west on Periwinkle Way at 3:32 p.m. Wednesday, April 7, when he saw a traffic aid instruct him to stop at the Casa Ybel Road intersection and the back of his vehicle was struck by a vehicle operated by Giancarlo Ramirez of Labelle, Fla. There was moderate damage to both vehicles, but no injuries were reported. Ramirez was issued a citation for careless driving.
James Smith of Fort Myers stopped his vehicle at the stop sign at the intersection of Palm Ridge and Tarpon Bay roads at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, April 8, when the back of his vehicle was struck by a vehicle operated by Ryan Figg of Grand Rapids, Mich. No injuries were reported