Woman holding binoculars Join today and get outside at one of our 60+ wildlife sanctuaries.
Woman holding binoculars Join today and get outside at one of our 60+ wildlife sanctuaries.
Northern Harrier flying
Northern Harrier © Kyle Wilmarth

Important Bird Area: Yarmouth Beaches

Map of the Yarmouth Beaches IBA site

Nominated By

Matt Bailey, Scott Hecker


300 acres

Towns and Counties

Yarmouth; Barnstable


municipal, private

Major Habitats

salt marsh, coastal beach, marine/tidal

Land Use

nature & wildlife conservation/land trust, other recreation or tourism

IBA Criteria

  • Category 1: Sites important for long-term research and/or monitoring projects that contribute substantially to ornithology, bird conservation, and/or education.
  • Category 5: Sites regularly holding significant numbers of an endangered, threatened, vulnerable, or declining species.

Site Description

This strip of beach runs along the south side of Cape Cod and is on Nantucket Sound. The east end of the site is a very busy public beach belonging to the town of Yarmouth, called Seagull Beach, and the west end on Great Island has relatively low recreational use as a private beach. Piping Plovers nest throughout.

Current Conservation Status

The primary issues at these sites are recreational use and beach nourishment projects. Mass Audubon's Coastal Waterbird Program (CWP) staff work with town officials and private landowners to minimize these effects.

Ornithological Significance

This site has been a significant nesting area for coastal waterbirds for at least the past seven years. Mass Audubon's CWP has been monitoring the site for fifteen years.

Other Flora or Fauna of Significance

None known.

Data Sources

MassWildlife Piping Plover Reports. Extensive records of Piping Plover breeding status from Mass Audubon CWP Records.