Environment

West Dennis beach closed to vehicles after two piping plovers were killed

The small, sand-colored shorebirds are listed as "threatened" on the Massachusetts and federal endangered species lists.

A two-day-old piping plover runs along a beach ahead of waves lapping on the shore in the Quonochontaug Conservation Area in Westerly, R.I. in 2007. AP Photo/Steven Senne, File

Due to a record-high number of piping plover nests and related state requirements, the parking lot at West Dennis Beach will remain closed for now to all but essential vehicles, Dennis officials announced this week.

Cars, motorcycles, scooters, and e-bikes are not permitted in the area as hatching progresses in order to protect these endangered birds. All beaches are open, however.

Part of the beach was closed after two piping plovers were accidentally killed by a motor vehicle last week, NBC10 Boston reported Tuesday.

Piping plovers are small, sand-colored shorebirds that nest on coastal beaches and around dunes during the summer. They are listed as “threatened” on the Massachusetts and federal endangered species lists.

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Chicks typically fledge 30 to 35 days after hatching, according to Mass Audubon.

Dennis Town Administrator Elizabeth Sullivan did not respond to Boston.com’s phone or email requests for comment.

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