EMPIRE, Mich. (WPBN/WGTU)-- Officials with Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore are reminding visitors to keep their dogs on leashes after a piping plover was apparently killed by a dog.
The National Lakeshore says towards the end of May, the piping plover monitors found one of the Lakeshore's important breeding adult female plovers dead.
Officials say while no one saw the incident, there were dog tracks in the area that indicated there was a chase. There were also pounce marks and the torn carcass remained. Officials say these are all indicators of a domestic dog attack.
"This is why it is so important to keep dogs on leashes and out of our piping plover nesting areas (all areas are signed/marked closed to dogs)," Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore said in a Facebook post. "There are only 75 adult nesting pairs in the Great Lakes population of the endangered piping plover, and so far this season half of these birds are nesting within the National Lakeshore. Losing a female breeding bird is all the more heartbreaking. The nest was due to hatch in seven days. "
The National Lakeshores says the eggs have been collected and transported to a facility that will incubate them. Officials are hoping some of those eggs will hatch and the chicks will fledge.
Here are the pet regulations for Sleeping Bear Dunes:
For more information and to view areas that are pet-friendly, CLICK HERE.