Another tale from the dark side of the human psyche – vandals who go into protected areas and destroy piping plover nests and steal their eggs.

Piping plovers are endangered, or at least threatened. The numbers of nesting pairs along the east coast are alarmingly low.
The main problem is that they nest on beaches at just the same time that human activity ramps up. It’s not a good mix.

So, wildlife officials and conservationists have put into place protections – fencing off nests to protect them, and closing beaches until the young are hatched a fledged.

Some people don’t like it. The idea that they can’t go to a certain stretch of beach just because some bird is nesting there doesn’t register with them. Some people in Plymouth think the bird should just be moved so they can tear around in their ATVs.

At least they’ve confined their protests to web postings and hearings. In some places, people have apparently taken matters into their own hands.

This spring, there were two piping plover nets at Hampton Beach, NH. That part was closed off, a fence put around it. Just as soon as the protections went up, someone went in, wrecked the fence and stole the eggs.

A similar event happened at a beach in Sandy Hook, New Jersey.

But there is good news, at least in New England, the numbers of piping plovers seems to be growing, vandals be damned.