Now Available: Wilson’s Plover Conservation Plan

Written by Meredith Gutowski Morehouse/WHSRN
An adult male WIlson's Plover hunts fiddler crabs and other invertebrates in the marsh on Cumberland Island National Seashore. April 2012. © Lauren Deaner

An adult male WIlson’s Plover hunts fiddler crabs and other invertebrates in the marsh on Cumberland Island National Seashore. April 2012. © Lauren Deaner

In response to the conservation priorities established in the U.S. Shorebird Conservation Plan, the WHSRN Executive Office continues to work with shorebird experts in partner organizations to develop action-oriented Species Conservation Plans. Today, we proudly announce the completion and publication of  the Conservation Plan for the Wilson’s Plover (Charadrius wilsonia) by dedicated scientist and author Margo Zdravkovic, with support from Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences, Coastal Bird Conservation (CBC)/Conservian, Inc., National Audubon Society, and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
The 170-page, peer-reviewed plan summarizes what is known to date about Wilson’s Plover ecology, status, updated population estimates, habitat needs, threats, and important sites throughout the Western Hemisphere. It also identifies and prioritizes conservation actions needed in the short term to recover the species’ population for the long term. The plan further offers new data and insight from CBC into the complicated, cooperative ways that the otherwise territorial pairs of breeding Wilson’s Plovers will work in groups to defend a wider breeding territory. Recognizing and understanding this and other behavior is essential to conduct more accurate survey- and monitoring-related conservation efforts. In addition, the plan discusses the impact and effects of the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster on this species and its habitats along the U.S. Gulf Coast.
Range map of the three subspecies of Wilson’s Plover: Charadrius wilsonia wilsonia (yellow), C. w. cinnamonius (orange), C. w. beldingi (green) / © Conservian

Range map of the three subspecies of Wilson’s Plover: Charadrius wilsonia wilsonia (yellow), C. w. cinnamonius (orange), C. w. beldingi (green) / © Conservian

We applaud and appreciate Ms. Zdravkovic’s tireless dedication in developing this plan and her commitment to the species. We also are grateful to the many shorebird biologists and conservation partners who contributed their data, time, and/or feedback during its development.
Male and Female Wilson's Plover at Cumberland Island National Seashore. © Lauren Deaner

Male and Female Wilson’s Plover at Cumberland Island National Seashore. © Lauren Deaner

The Conservation Plan for the Wilson’s Plover (Charadrius wilsonia) can be viewed or downloaded at the WHSRN Species Conservation Plan webpage, along with a Spanish executive summary, and our 19 other species plans published and being implemented to date. Also available on this page is our interactive GoogleEarth map file of species-specific important areas, updated with Wilson’s Plover sites.
For more information, please contact Margo Zdravkovic (MargoZ@Coastalbird.org), Director, Coastal Bird Conservation/Conservian, Inc., or Meredith Gutowski Morehouse (mgmorehouse@manomet.org), Conservation Specialist, WHSRN Executive Office, Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences.
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