PARK ADVISORY: Island Beach State Park Mobile Sport Fishing Pass Holders
Piping Plovers, an endangered species of shorebird, have nested in Island Beach State Park?s Northern Natural Area. Under federal law, the Plover is listed as ?threatened? and as such, IBSP is required to close certain beach habitats to vehicle traffic from the time the eggs are expected to hatch until the time that the chicks can engage in sustained flight. This is necessary because the small, sand-colored flightless chicks are at high risk of getting run over, or dying while trapped in tire ruts. Consequently, THERE IS THE POTENTIAL FOR MANAGED CLOSINGS of Gillikin?s Mobile Sport Fishing Vehicle (MSFV) access.
The closest nest to the Gillikin?s access is expected to hatch on or about June 12, 2018. Although the nest is greater than 1,000 meters from the vehicle access, there is the potential that the chicks may move closer to the access, prompting managed or full closures. Beginning June 11 or sooner, the chicks will be monitored daily by State staff and trained volunteers to assess the birds? location. If the chicks are found within 600 meters of the access, this will prompt twice daily monitoring, night-time closure of the Gillikin?s access, and further coordination with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Under these circumstances, the chicks will be monitored early in the morning, and if they remain at a safe distance from Gillikin?s, then the access will be opened for the day. If the chicks are found within 200 meters of the access, the access will be closed.
No dogs are allowed north of the Gillikins access once the area is marked. The Northern Natural Area will also be marked for walk-on access from the north, and no dogs are allowed within 1,000 meters of the northern most nest.
The NJ Division of Fish & Wildlife has placed protective fencing around the nest to keep it safe from predators. The closed area is clearly marked with warning signs and posts.
MSFVs will be afforded the maximum amount of beach allowed while still ensuing compliance with Federal Law. Even if a Gillikin?s access closure becomes necessary, there will still be 5.0 miles of beach open for MSFVs.
PLEASE BE ADVISED that due to the temporary closure, IBSP may reach its capacity of MSFVs sooner than normal. Should this be the case, IBSP will close to MSFVs. We appreciate your cooperation in ensuring the next generation of New Jersey?s shorebirds has a safe and successful start on our beach.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON PIPING PLOVERS: