BOSTON (AP) – Kiteboarders are pushing back against bans of their increasingly popular sport in the protected waters off Cape Cod. Federal officials say the kites are scaring away piping plovers and other threatened and endangered shorebirds from their traditional nesting areas.
The U.S. National Park Service banned the sport along the Cape Cod National Seashore in early June. Now the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering banning it at Monomoy, an island refuge just south of the national seashore.
Federal officials say the bans are needed because piping plovers, roseate terns, red knots and other shorebirds can mistake the kites for predatory birds. But kiteboarders complain their sport is being unfairly singled out. They’re concerned the bans might set a bad precedent. They also question the scientific research behind the bans.