MARCO ISLAND, Fla. (AP) — Signs will be posted on some beaches in Collier County to help protect nesting shorebirds.
Biologists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will post the signs and temporarily close portions of some beach areas. A statement from the commission released Tuesday says the areas will remain closed until the end of nesting season in mid-August or until nesting is complete — whichever comes first.
Two of the four species that nest in these protected areas are listed as state-threatened, and a third is a state species of special concern.
Biologists say the birds nest in the open and lay their well-camouflaged eggs directly on the sand, making them nearly invisible to predators and humans who "often accidentally step on these birds or their nests without knowing it."