On Monday, the Trustees of Reservations on Martha’s Vineyard announced in a Facebook post that Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge on Chappaquiddick Island is reopening for oversand vehicles (OSV). The southbound “inside” OSV trail from Dike Bridge to Wasque Point is the area that will allow OSV travel. The Trustees’ ecology staff reported that the piping plover broods that “necessitated the restrictions have moved, and show no sign of returning” to the “inside” vehicle trails. The OSV trail will reopen while following state guidelines.
According to Sam Hart, director of the Trustees of Reservations Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket properties, the piping plovers hatched earlier this month, and have now moved with their parents northward to the beaches. This is why the beach portions of the OSV trails are still closed. Hart said the shorebirds are being monitored on a daily basis, and the open status of the trail can change depending on the migration of the piping plovers. “You can never tell with these birds,” said Hart.
Piping plovers have a conservation status of “threatened or endangered,” according to the National Audubon Society.