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PipingPlover_RazorsEdge_Grantham_Jesse_RockportTX_25October2003_Reel2290.wav

Jesse Grantham [00:00:03] What it meant for me was how little we know and understand and appreciate the niche that these birds fill on our coastal beaches that we just accept for granted...

Jesse Grantham [00:00:14] As, "Eh, it's just another little piping plover on a beach, isn't it great?"

Jesse Grantham [00:00:18] It's entertaining. We look at it and, and get pleasure from it - recreational pleasure, aesthetic pleasure.

Jesse Grantham [00:00:26] But for that individual animal, it's a life and death struggle on a daily basis.

Jesse Grantham [00:00:31] And so being run off of your territory means that you're going to be skating on a razor's edge.

Jesse Grantham [00:00:40] If the amount of traffic and the conditions on the beach increase so that the amount of time that these birds can spend on their territories is less and less, how do you deal with these piping plovers that are setting up territories?

Jesse Grantham [00:00:56] They're heading toward endangered species status.

Jesse Grantham [00:00:58] There's no way they can get out of it. They can't change their feeding behavior. They can't change their biology. They can't change 10,000 years of evolution.

Jesse Grantham [00:01:07] We can change, by encouraging people not to drive 60 miles an hour down the beach and swerve over into the surf and flush these birds off. Or there are areas maybe where you put people to have volleyball courts and picnics and that sort of thing, so that you're not down right on the beach disturbing the birds.

Jesse Grantham [00:01:29] Well, the question is, how do we deal with just that one issue? That's just one, one bird and one set of issues.

Jesse Grantham [00:01:38] And are we willing to put the time and effort into changing our behavior so that this bird is not then put on the endangered species list and then who knows where it goes from there. But obviously, more time and money and effort is going to have to be put into that bird.