The Kentish plover


The Kentish plover (Charadrius Alexandrinus) is a bird in the Charadriidae family.

It is a migratory small bird with a solid body, short and well-built neck,  long and thin feet, long and pointed wings.

In Italy it lives near water, usually on the sea coast.

A peculiarity of this species is to nest on the seaside, usually on sand dunes preserved by human interferences. It lays up to three eggs each brood, from April-May to late summer. Thanks to their colour, the bird and its eggs easily camouflage in the sand.

The systematic seaside exploitation  for tourist aims, with mechanical beach-cleaning and continuous disturbance to nesting birds caused by human presence and unleashed dogs on the seaside, made the species endangered and in need of protection.

The Kentish plover is protected:

- by the Attachment 2 of Berna Convention of 1979, regarding to fauna species severely protected;

- by the Attachment 2 of Bonn Convention (1983);

- by the European Directive 79/409/CEE, regarding to wild birds conservation, “Birds Directive”;

- by the Italian National Law 157/92, Norme per la protezione della fauna selvatica omeoterma e per il prelievo venatorio, where it is included as “particularly protected species”.

So to harm a Kentish plover and its eggs is a crime.

The “Stazione Ornitologica Abruzzese” and WWF volunteers have been working for many years in order to protect these birds and their nests, hunting high and low the Abruzzo beaches looking for nests and taking measures to prevent brood failure. A brilliant invention is the installation of a large-maze net around the nest in order to prevent unleashed dogs or careless people to destroy it. This net is not a cage: in fact the Kentish plover easily walks through it.

We shall remember that, according to the Abruzzo region beach ordinance, to the beach “it’s forbidden to take animals all the year round if not differently established by coastal municipalities, except for blind man guide dogs and dogs  which have licence for water aid and are operating accompanied by qualified people”.

That should push us to be more aware of the biodiversity in our seaside and the need to protect it.

Francesco Verrocchio

Go also to the data sheet on “Area Marina Protetta Torre del Cerrano” site.