The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the conviction of the person(s) responsible for the vandalism of two piping plover nests in Far Rockaway last month, according to a July 10 press release.
The piping plover is protected as a threatened species under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). Maximum penalties under the ESA are a fine of $25,000 and/or imprisonment of up to six months for the take of each egg or individual bird.
Between 10:30 a.m. on Friday June 9, and 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 10, two nest exclosures — structures that are placed around individual shorebird nests to keep predators out — were intentionally damaged and two eggs were taken from each of the nests within.
Earlier this year, New York City Parks Department installed game cameras on the beach to monitor activity around nesting areas and officials are reviewing the footage for information.
Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to contact Service Special Agent Kathryn McCabe at 516-825-3950, or 1-844-FWS-TIPS (397-8477).