Regional Habitat Differences Identified for Threatened Piping Plovers on Atlantic Coast
by Donyelle Davis & Vic Hines, Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Piping plovers, charismatic shorebirds that nest and feed on many Atlantic Coast beaches, rely on different kinds of coastal habitats in different regions along the Atlantic Coast, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The Atlantic Coast and Northern Great Plains populations of the piping plover were listed as federally threatened in 1985. The Atlantic coast population is managed in three regional recovery units, or regions: New England, which includes Massachusetts and Rhode Island; Mid-Atlantic, which includes New York and New Jersey; and Southern, which includes Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina.
While the Atlantic populations are growing, piping plovers have not recovered as well in the Mid-Atlantic and Southern regions as they have in the New England region. The habitat differences uncovered by the study may be a factor in the unequal recovery.
Read the Ecopshere paper: https://esajournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ecs2.3418