Target: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Daniel Ashe
Goal: Protect unique bird species by listing it under the Endangered Species Act
The mountain plover is a unique bird found in the western part of the United States. This bird depends on prairie dogs in the area, as it nests in old prairie dog towns. However, due to urbanization of the area, prairie dog populations have declined, and in consequence, so have the populations of the mountain plover.
The mountain plover nests in the ground, which makes their eggs vulnerable to predators. Most times, half of the birds’ eggs are eaten by coyotes, squirrels, or foxes before they hatch. The mountain plover also faces threats from above, as eggs and young birds are vulnerable to attacks from eagles, falcons, and hawks. These threats make finding good nesting sites within prairie dog towns especially important. Unfortunately, nesting areas for the mountain plover have been diminished because of the decline of prairie dogs in the area. Often, people poison or shoot prairie dogs. The problem has become so bad that it has declined the prairie dog’s range by 98 percent.
Most mountain plovers migrate to California during the winter months. However, their former wintering sites pose new threats as well, as much of the area has been urbanized. Orchards, farms, and vineyards replace the mountain plover’s habitat, leaving them to nest in different areas which leave them more vulnerable. With a combined loss of habitat in prairie dog towns and in their wintering area, it has driven the mountain plover’s population down by about two-thirds.
Yet, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has denied listing this species under the Endangered Species Act multiple times. More must be done to help protect this unique bird and save it from extinction. Without help, the mountain plover’s habitat will continue to be urbanized and destroyed. Please sign this petition to urge the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to take action and protect the mountain plover under the Endangered Species Act.
Dear Director Ashe,
The mountain plover is a unique bird with a dwindling population. Urbanization has destroyed its habitats, making it difficult for the species to thrive. The bird depends on old prairie dog towns for survival, where its eggs will be hidden from predators. Unfortunately, people in the area have threatened the prairie dog population as well, shooting and poisoning the animals. Consequently, these birds are left without a safe place to nest and left vulnerable to attack.
In their wintering sites, these birds face another threat. Urbanization has also led their natural habitat to be overtaken by vineyards, farms, and orchards. There, birds face the threat of being killed by farmers.
The mountain plover has faced many troubles and urbanization in its habitats has threatened the survival of this species. However, it remains unprotected by the Endangered Species Act. With the continued urbanization of the mountain plover’s habitat, it seems unlikely that the species can survive much longer without government protections. Please take action to help ensure the survival of this fascinating bird by listing it under the Endangered Species Act.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Pauk via Wikimedia Commons