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Park Service To Explore How Best To Protect Coastal Species In Southeast Region

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The National Park Service is embarking on a study to determine how best to protect shorebirds, sea turtles and beach mice from the threat of predators at park units in the Southeast Region. The Coastal Species of Concern Predator Management Plan Programmatic Environmental Assessment will evaluate the best available predator management options and analyze relevant environmental issues.

Many Southeast coastal parks have habitats that support protected species of concern, including parks in Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Some parks need a strategy to better protect these species, which includes both federally listed threatened and endangered species and state listed species — examples include: snowy and piping plover shorebirds, loggerhead sea turtle, green sea turtle, Kemp's Ridley sea turtle, leatherback sea turtle, southeastern beach mouse and Perdido Key beach mouse — from such predators as coyote, raccoons, fox, feral hogs and others. Species of concern using coastal and dune habitats are especially vulnerable during their respective breeding seasons, generally falling between April and October.

The public is invited to submit comments on the proposed study through April 15. Among the options for contributing your thoughts are:

  • Public scoping webinars scheduled for April 4 and 6 to present project information and review the preliminary alternatives. Registration is free and available online by clicking the project page and navigating to 'Meeting Notices'; 
  • Post-event viewing of project webinars, which will be recorded and archived on this site
  • A public scoping newsletter, including project details and preliminary draft alternative concepts, posted at this site;
  • Periodic updates posted at this site.

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