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Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 47 areas where the Snowy Plovers like to nest Dr. Allan Worms, a retired wildlife bioloare closer to the dune line and therefore more gist who also volunteers for what Sarasota protected, he added. Audubon members refer to affectionately as the "chick patrols," told the News Leader SYMBIOSIS this week that the latest information he had Although the Snowy Plovers in the past have learned from Nancy Douglass, a well-known nested more frequently near the dunes be- FWC wildlife biologist, was that only about tween Accesses 7 and 10, Catherine Luckner 220 Snowy Plovers remain in Florida. "They pointed out that this year, the Audubon vol- are a rare little bird … and we don't want to unteers had marveled over the number of plo- lose the species," he said. vers and Least Terns settling in in a symbiotic GOOD NEWS AMID THE BAD manner between Accesses 3 and 4. In spite of the heartbreaking news this week, One very positive aspect of that situation, she Worms related the volunteers' excitement renoted, is that terns fight off crows, which have garding two Snowy Plover chicks that hatched snatched up many a Snowy Plover chick over this summer: They are getting close to fledgthe past years. ing — being able to fly on their own. "It was just amazing to see this," Luckner added of the multiple nests. "And we had every reason to believe [that symbiosis] would be successful" in terms of producing chicks. "They still need protection, of course," he pointed out, but the parents have been keeping a close watch over them — as have the volunteers. A Snowy Plover is hard to spot against the Siesta sand. Photo courtesy of Sarasota County

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