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Elon Musk's Texas SpaceX Site Draws Concern Over Missing Shorebirds

  • Plover decline highlighted in draft from U.S. wildlife agency
  • FAA is reviewing SpaceX’s plans for expansion at Texas site
Snowy Plover
Snowy PloverPhotographer: Lea Suzuki/San Francisco Chronicle/Getty Images

U.S. wildlife investigators cautioned that SpaceX’s expansion in Boca Chica, Texas, has coincided with a decline in the population of snowy and piping plovers, shorebirds that are under threat in many coastal regions.

“It is not clear what happened to the ‘missing’ plovers, but if SpaceX activities have resulted in the loss of over half the Boca Chica population then the entire critical habitat is being impacted,” the Fish and Wildlife Service wrote in a draft biological opinion obtained by Bloomberg. The opinion was submitted to the Federal Aviation Administration as part of its environmental review of SpaceX’s plans at Boca Chica.