Endangered shorebird nests in NY; first time in over 30 years
January 8, 2016
A pair of piping plovers successfully nested on New York's Lake Ontario shoreline for the first time in more than 30 years, which bodes well for the recovery of the endangered bird's Great Lakes population, according to biologists from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Audubon New York.
"We were thrilled to see the successful breeding of piping plovers on Lake Ontario this year," David Stilwell of the federal agency's New York office said on Wednesday.
The agency said three adult plovers were spotted over the summer on New York's Ontario shore, including a breeding pair in Jefferson County that hatched two chicks. One chick survived to migrate south in August.
The Fish and Wildlife Service, New York Department of Environmental Conservation, Audubon and other groups worked to protect the nest from disturbance.
The piping plover is a robin-sized bird resembling a sandpiper that nests on beaches and is colored to blend in with sand and sticks. The Great Lakes population had fallen to 16 pairs in 1986, when the species went on the endangered list. All were in Michigan.
Protection of nest sites and other conservation measures have increased the population to about 75 pairs across the region today, according to the wildlife agency.
A separate piping plover population, the federally threatened Atlantic Coast population, breeds on coastal beaches from Quebec to North Carolina.
The species' decline is attributed to habitat loss, disturbance of nest sites by people and pets, and predators such as foxes, gulls and crows.
"The return of piping plovers to the eastern shores of Lake Ontario is a tremendous success story for birds and the environment," said Erin Crotty, executive director of Audubon New York. "That they're finding new and suitable habitat to successfully fledge chicks signals their recovery." It also emphasizes the need for habitat protection and restoration to benefit other vulnerable species, she said.
Beach walkers along the East Coast often share the sand with several kinds of birds that scavenge the shore just out of the reach of waves. Among these shorebirds is the piping plover—a tiny, busy bird that nests in open ...
For breeding western snowy plovers—small, federally protected shorebirds that nest along the Pacific coast—the list of predators is long. Predation management for the species serves to control some of the bird's most ...
When it comes to reproduction, not every individual equally pulls his or her weight. Dana Herman and Mark Colwell of Humboldt State University spent 13 years tracking the successes and failures of almost 200 individual Snowy ...
Gray wolf populations in Michigan and other Great Lakes states have recovered to the point they no longer should be considered an endangered species. That message came Wednesday not from hunting groups but from 26 scientists ...
Piping plovers, a federally threatened species of shorebirds, are likely losing wetland breeding habitat in the Great Plains as a result of wetland drainage, climate change or both, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey ...
By tagging individual bumblebees with microchips, biologists have gained insights into the daily life of a colony of bumblebees (Bombus impatiens) in unprecedented detail. The team found that while most bees are generalists ...
Climate change from political and ecological standpoints is a constant in the media and with good reason, said a Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientist, but proof of its impact is sometimes found in unlikely places.
At what point on the journey along the branches of the evolutionary tree does a population become its own, unique species? And is a species still distinct, if it mates with a different, but closely related species? Evolutionary ...
Please sign in to add a comment.
Registration is free, and takes less than a minute.
Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.