2010 Student Research Conference:
23rd Annual Student Research Conference

Piping Plover Conservation on Sandy Neck Beach, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Robert J. Welter
Dr. Peter Goldman, Faculty Mentor

Piping Plovers (Charadrius melodus) are small shorebirds that reside exclusively in sandy beaches and rocky shores. Historically, the unique coloration of these birds coupled with their passive behavior has leant to over-harvesting by humans and a massive population decline soon followed. As such, they are now federally listed under the Endangered Species Act as a threatened species. As a threatened species, data on productivity and predation is assessed annually. From the months of May to August (the breeding season of Plovers) during the summer of 2009, a population of ~30 breeding pairs of Piping Plovers on Sandy Neck Beach, MA was monitored and data collected regarding nest productivity and predator influences. Nesting productivity was low when compared to previous years data. Although direct monitoring was utilized extensively throughout the breeding season, the effectiveness of thermal imaging and GIS mapping techniques are discussed.

Keywords: Conservation, Wildlife, Beach Ecology, Shorebirds

Environmental Studies

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 58-1
Location: MG 2001
Time: 2:45

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