Great Plains Shorebird Project Great Plains Shorebird Project Great Plains Shorebird Project Great Plains Shorebird Project Great Plains Shorebird Project Great Plains Shorebird Project Great Plains Shorebird Project Great Plains Shorebird Project Great Plains Shorebird Project

 

Projects


Piping plovers on the Atlantic Coast breed as far south as the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The Outer Banks are also a hotspot for tourism and recreation, especially within Cape Hatteras National Seashore (CAHA) and Cape Lookout National Seashore (CALO), which host nearly all the state’s breeding piping plover population. To protect beach-nesting piping plovers and other birds, the National Park Service seasonally restricts pedestrian and off-road vehicle (ORV) access to areas, allowing the birds to nest and rear young with minimal human disturbance. However, the effect of predators and habitat quality may also influence nesting and brood-rearing activity. Our program is working in these areas to evaluate the effectiveness of management strategies by studying nesting ecology, brood movement and behavior, and population dynamics of this small population.
Recent work at CAHA and CALO has also suggested that this area may be very important to large numbers of Atlantic Coast piping plovers during migration. Not only does North Carolina have the southern-most breeding population, but it also hosts the northern-most wintering population, and is regularly used by large numbers of birds during fall migration. We are working to quantify the importance of this area to migrating piping plovers, and how that is connected to other aspects of this species life cycle.