A piping plover guards its nest outside an "exclosure" on...

A piping plover guards its nest outside an "exclosure" on the outer beach at Smith Point Park, which has been closed to fishermen and campers due in part to damage from Superstorm Sandy and the proximity to piping plovers' nesting grounds. (June 19, 2013) Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

The piping plover, an endangered species that nests on our barrier beaches, is under siege again ["Fire Island dunes plan heads back on track," News, Oct. 19]. This time the battle is over whether to amend the Army Corps of Engineers' beach replenishment project to allow for two small areas of potentially suitable nesting habitat, which would be lost under the plan.

One of the major causes of animal endangerment is loss of breeding habitat. Like many species, plovers have adapted to their nesting grounds over eons. The relatively recent arrival of humans has forced the birds into smaller areas. The result is a declining population, and if not addressed, the specter of extinction.

For those who have a cavalier attitude about such a possibility, perhaps you should think about what kind of planet you want to leave for your children. Is it one of beauty and diversity? Long Island has precious little natural habitat left for our wild things.

Marilyn England, Center Moriches

Editor's note: The writer is a former adjunct professor of ornithology at Southampton College, and is president of the Open Space Council, a preservation advocacy group.

Newsday LogoSUBSCRIBEUnlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months