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March 20, 2013

Refuge recruiting volunteer plover wardens

NEWBURY — Parker River National Wildlife Refuge on Plum Island is looking for volunteer plover wardens for the 2013 plover season. Beginning in April of each year, the entire refuge beach is closed to all public entry to provide undisturbed nesting habitat for the federally threatened piping plover. The volunteer plover warden program contributes to the breeding success of these birds.

Plover Wardens are stationed at both the north and south ends of the refuge’s 6 1/2-mile beach.

In addition, plover wardens will also be located at Sandy Point State Reservation this year to provide more of an interpretive in nature role.

Responsibilities of plover wardens include greeting visitors, providing information concerning the beach closure and notifying refuge officers of any closure violations. Volunteers work varied four-hour shifts (although the shift length is flexible) from April to August.

Because they are in the field, volunteers must be prepared for the sometimes unpredictable beach weather. But refuge staff say the work is rewarding and volunteers provide valuable service to refuge visitors by informing them of policies and programs. They also help the refuge wildlife by protecting valuable habitat, thus helping the plovers survive.

Interested volunteers should call the refuge at 978-465-5754, ext. 208, for more information.

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