January 24th marked the beginning of the 2011 International Piping Plover Census and we would greatly appreciate your help in conducting surveys and/or reporting any observations of Piping Plovers. A census for this species of conservation concern has been completed every five years since 1991. During the 2006 Census, we discovered that the Bahamas and northern Caribbean is a major wintering area for this species. We have assistance with the 2011 Census on some islands but there are many gaps in our coverage. Your help in expanding our search for this sensitive species would be much appreciated by all those in the international community who study or work to protect the Piping Plover across it’s range (in Canada, the United States, Mexico, and elsewhere in the Caribbean).
Piping Plover in Florida. © Jan Wegener
The most commonly used habitat for this species in the Caribbean appears to be broad sand flats (often they are common in bonefishing area). However, Piping Plovers have also been found on narrow beaches, salt flats, mud flats, and rocky limestone beaches. Any help you could provide surveying this habitat for plovers would be greatly appreciated.
If you are able to conduct one or more surveys, please fill out our data sheet. However, even if you can not conduct any official surveys, we would appreciate if you could look for this species and report any observation of Piping Plovers. Our survey window is 24 Jan to 6 Feb, but we would be happy to receive Piping Plover observations from any time this winter.
USGS Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center
3200 SW Jefferson Way
Corvallis, OR, 97331