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Strong partnership benefits Wisconsin piping plovers
Midwest Region, September 2, 2009
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The strong partnership forged between Julie Van Stappen (National Park Service), Sumner Matteson (Wisconsin DNR) and Joel Trick (USFWS) has resulted in positive outcomes for Wisconsin piping plovers. Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, July 9, 2009. USFWS photo by Joel Trick
The strong partnership forged between Julie Van Stappen (National Park Service), Sumner Matteson (Wisconsin DNR) and Joel Trick (USFWS) has resulted in positive outcomes for Wisconsin piping plovers. Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, July 9, 2009. USFWS photo by Joel Trick - Photo Credit: n/a
An anxious adult piping plover looks on as its chicks are banded at Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, July 9, 2009. USFWS photo by Joel Trick
An anxious adult piping plover looks on as its chicks are banded at Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, July 9, 2009. USFWS photo by Joel Trick - Photo Credit: n/a

At least four pairs of piping plovers nested at Apostle Island National Lakeshore in 2009.  These four nesting pairs produced a total of eight young, all of which were banded by Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Avian Ecologist Sumner Matteson.  The nesting success of this population is in large part due to the cooperative efforts of a multi-agency partnership committed to the continued growth of piping plover populations in Wisconsin.

The Fish and Wildlife Service's Green Bay Field Office, the National Park Service, the Wisconsin DNR, Bad River Band of Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians, and USDA-Wildlife Services worked together to protect the Apostle Islands plovers by hiring plover monitors to spot nesting pairs, developing plover signs to let beachgoers avoid disturbing the nests, putting up nest exclosures to protect the nests from predators, and conducting targeted predator control. Having two full-time biologists on location during the nesting season to find and monitor the nests again paid great dividends in this season's nesting success. The plover monitors were funded by the generous donations of The Johnson Family Foundation. For the first time in 2009, USDA-Wildlife Services implemented predator control in the plovers' nesting habitat, in an attempt to decrease post-hatching losses of plover chicks.

The Great Lakes population of the piping plover continues to slowly increase and has now expanded into the best available habitat in Wisconsin.  The additional young produced in Wisconsin this year are expected to continue the species expansion, and further progress towards recovery of the species.  Continued strong partnerships forged between state, federal, tribal and NGO partners will remain critical to the success of piping plover protection efforts in Wisconsin.

The piping plover is one of the Region's most endangered birds, and the establishment of an additional breeding group outside of Michigan will greatly contribute to making the species more secure. The growth of this small group of breeding plovers will enhance the likelihood of continued population expansion into suitable habitat and progress towards recovery of the species.  The piping plover is identified as a Species of Greatest Conservation need in the Wisconsin Wildlife Action Plan.


Contact Info: Joel Trick, 920-866-1737, joel_trick@fws.gov



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