Shorebirds are nesting now on island beaches!
Please keep dogs leashed.
Dogs (even when well-behaved) pose a serious threat to the survival and success of endangered beach-nesting birds, so it is critical that dog owners respect local laws that restrict or prohibit the presence of dogs on beaches. Follow these guidelines to keep beach habitat and birds safe:
• Always keep dogs leashed and under control.
• Walk dogs at the water’s edge, away from nesting areas.
• Mind all fencing (twine and post) that delineates habitat and feeding areas. Even if you don’t see the birds, they may be camouflaged or hiding in the dune grass.
• Carry in – carry home. Trash left behind on the beach attracts predators.
• Abide by property, town, county, and state regulations.
• Become an advocate for the protection of endangered shorebirds.
Please note: Several properties – including Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary, Polly Hill Arboretum, and Long Point Wildlife Refuge – do not allow dogs at all. Please check ahead to make sure dogs are allowed at the property you plan to visit.
Piping plover photo by Lanny McDowell.
It’s tick time in New England.
Summer is high season for ticks. Joining deer ticks and wood ticks out on the trails, meadows, beaches, and woodlands these days are lone star ticks, a relative newcomer with potentially serious consequences. Here’s how to avoid Lyme and other tick-related diseases:
- Learn before you go – read about ticks and how to avoid them.
- Wear light-colored clothing to spot ticks more easily.
- Treat shoes, clothing, and gear with permethrin or an EPA-approved insect repellent. Follow application instructions carefully.
- Avoid wooded and brushy areas, tall grass, beach dunes, and leaf litter.
- Walk in the center of the trail away from vegetation.
- Inspect yourself and companions carefully for ticks afterward.
An effective deterrent is permethrin, a pesticide that’s applied to clothes and shoes. You can buy it in liquid spray form to treat your own clothes, or buy clothing that’s factory pre-treated with permethrin, which lasts up to 70 washings. Tick-repellent gaiters help stop ticks from moving up your legs, as do permethrin-infused socks.
Island retailers selling permethrin clothing and sprays include Brickman’s and SBS in Vineyard Haven and Basics in Oak Bluffs.
Lone star tick photo by James Gathany, CDC. Information courtesy Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation.