Protecting the Plovers at What Cost?
By Piper G
Outrage has ensued over foxes being eradicated this past month on Duxbury Beach in order to protect the Piping Plovers who live there. Every summer, the town takes massive precautions to protect the plovers by restricting dogs from the beach and roping off areas where the plover’s nest. Additionally, watchmen are posted at these gated areas to ensure that the piping plovers aren’t bothered.
However, recently these precautions to protect the plovers have escalated. Late last month a sign was posted that read “Beach sweep today, fox kill 9-12.” At an attempt to save the plovers, the town decided the best way to ensure the foxes would not be able to eat the plovers were to eradicate them.
This decision is very controversial in the town and many members of the town Facebook page Duxbury Helping Duxbury expressed extreme anger at this decision.
Here at Duxbury High School people had opinions about the killing of the foxes as well. Junior Sydney E weighed in on the situation, saying “In my personal opinion I know that piping plovers are an endangered species and I think that nature does its own thing and that we should just not interfere. I think that piping plovers are honestly a very dumb species; I’ve seen them just walk into the water and be wiped away. There’s a reason that they’re endangered.”
The students were all in agreement that the actions taken were a bit too far when it came to actually killing the foxes. “I just can’t believe more people don’t know about it,” said eighth-grader Emma G. “It’s so sad to think that we are valuing one animal over another.”
Sydney went on to explain the potential effects that eliminating foxes could have upon the Duxbury Beach area, saying “I don’t think people realize the significance of predators when it comes to an ecosystem because predators are the ones maintaining and regulating an ecosystem; they’re not just some big enemies.”
This event, while happening a few weeks ago, is still being discussed over whether it was the right thing to do and has stirred up a hot debate amongst town members.