Species Profile
Environmental Conservation Online System

Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus)

Kingdom: Animalia
Class: Aves
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Charadriidae

Listing Status:    and  

General Information

Size: 18 cm (7.25 in) in length. Color: Breeding season: Pale brown above, lighter below; black band across forehead; bill orange with black tip; legs orange; white rump. Male: Complete or incomplete black band encircles the body at the breast. Female: Paler head band; incomplete breast band. Winter coloration: Bill black; all birds lack breast band and head band.

Population detail

The FWS is currently monitoring the following populations of the Piping Plover 

Map of Species occurrence

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Map Image Map of Species occurrence Map of Species occurrence
Map of Species occurrence Map of Species occurrence

This map represents our best available information about where a species is currently known to or or is believed to occur; however, it should NOT be used as an official species list for Section 7 Consultation purposes. To obtain an official species list for this purpose, please visit the Information, Planning, and Conservation (IPaC) System (click here: http://ecos.fws.gov/ipac)

  • Population location: Great Lakes watershed in States of IL, IN, MI, MN, NY, OH, PA, and WI and Canada (Ont.)
    Listing status:  Endangered
    • States/US Territories in which this population is known to or is believed to occur:  Illinois , Indiana , Michigan , Minnesota , Mississippi , New York , Ohio , Pennsylvania , Wisconsin
    • US Counties in which this population is known to or is believed to occur:  View All
    • USFWS Refuges in which this population is known to occur:  AMAGANSETT NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE, ELIZABETH ALEXANDRA MORTON NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE, FERGUS FALLS WETLAND MANAGEMENT DISTRICT, MORRIS WETLAND MANAGEMENT DISTRICT, TARGET ROCK NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
    • Countries in which the this population is known to occur:  Canada
    • For more information:  http://ecos.fws.gov/docs/life_histories/B079.html
  • Population location: Entire, except those areas where listed as endangered above
    Listing status:  Threatened
    • States/US Territories in which this population is known to or is believed to occur:  Alabama , Arkansas , Colorado , Connecticut , Delaware , Florida , Georgia , Iowa , Kansas , Louisiana , Maine , Maryland , Massachusetts , Minnesota , Montana , Nebraska , New Hampshire , New Jersey , New Mexico , New York , North Carolina , North Dakota , Oklahoma , Rhode Island , South Carolina , South Dakota , Texas , Virginia
    • US Counties in which this population is known to or is believed to occur:  View All
    • USFWS Refuges in which this population is known to occur:  ANAHUAC NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE, ARANSAS NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE, ARROWWOOD NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE, AUDUBON NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE, AUDUBON WETLAND MANAGEMENT DISTRICT  ... Show All Refuges
    • Countries in which the this population is known to occur:  Canada, Mexico
    • For more information:  http://ecos.fws.gov/docs/life_histories/B079.html
Current Listing Status Summary
Status Date Listed Lead Region Where Listed
12/11/1985 Great Lakes-Big Rivers Region (Region 3) Great Lakes watershed
12/11/1985 Northeast Region (Region 5) except Great Lakes watershed

» Federal Register Documents

Most Recent Federal Register Documents (Showing 5 of 30: view all)
Date Citation Page Title
07/08/2014 79 FR 38560 38562 Initiation of 5-Year Status Reviews of Nine Listed Animal and Two Listed Plant Species
09/08/2011 76 FR 55638 55641 90-Day Finding on a Petition To List the Snowy Plover and Reclassify the Wintering Population of Piping Plover
05/19/2009 74 FR 23476 23600 Revised Designation of Critical Habitat for the Wintering Population of the Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus) in Texas
10/21/2008 73 FR 62816 62841 Revised Designation of Critical Habitat for the Wintering Population of the Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus) in North Carolina; Final Rule
09/30/2008 73 FR 56860 56862 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 5-Year Review - Notice of initiation of review; request for information on the piping plover (Charadrius melodus).

» Action Plans

Action Plans (Showing 2 of 2)
Date Title
12/04/2009 Piping plover Spotlight Species Action Plan
10/01/2009 Great Lakes piping plover spotlight species action plan

» Recovery

Recovery Plan Information Search
Current Recovery Plan(s)
Date Title Plan Action Status Plan Status
05/02/1996 Piping Plover Atlantic Coast Population Revised Recovery Plan View Implementation Progress Final Revision 1
09/16/2003 Recovery Plan for the Great Lakes population of Piping Plovers View Implementation Progress Final
05/12/1988 Great Lakes & Northern Great Plains Piping Plover View Implementation Progress Final
Other Recovery Documents (Showing 5 of 7: view all)
Date Citation Page Title Document Type
07/08/2014 79 FR 38560 38562 Initiation of 5-Year Status Reviews of Nine Listed Animal and Two Listed Plant Species
  • Notice 5-year Review, Initiation
  • 09/30/2008 73 FR 56860 56862 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 5-Year Review - Notice of initiation of review; request for information on the piping plover (Charadrius melodus).
  • Notice 5-year Review, Initiation
  • 09/16/2003 68 FR 54241 54242 Approved Recovery Plan for the Great Lakes Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus)
  • Notice Final Recovery Plan Availability
  • 08/05/2002 67 FR 50687 50688 Notice of Availability of the Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus) Great Lakes Population Draft Recovery Plan for Review and Comment
  • Notice Draft Recovery Plan Availability
  • 12/28/2001 66 FR 67165 67166 ETWP; Proposed Designation of Critical Habitat for the Northern Great Plains Breeding Population of the Piping Plover; Reopening of Public Comment Period and Notice of Availability of Draft Economic Analysis
  • Notice Doc. Availability
  • Notice Reopen Comment
  • Proposed Critical Habitat, Critical habitat--birds
  • Five Year Review
    Date Title
    09/29/2009 Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus) 5-Year Review

    » Critical Habitat

    Current Critical Habitat Documents (Showing 5 of 12: view all)
    Date Citation Page Title Document Type Status
    05/19/2009 74 FR 23476 23600 Revised Designation of Critical Habitat for the Wintering Population of the Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus) in Texas Final Rule Final designated
    10/21/2008 73 FR 62816 62841 Revised Designation of Critical Habitat for the Wintering Population of the Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus) in North Carolina; Final Rule Final Rule Not Required
    05/20/2008 73 FR 29294 29321 Revised Designation of Critical Habitat for the Wintering Population of the Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus) in Texas: Proposed rule. Proposed Rule Not Required
    09/11/2002 67 FR 57638 57717 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of Critical Habitat for the Northern Great Plains Breeding Population of the Piping Plover; Final Rule Final Rule Not Required
    12/28/2001 66 FR 67165 67166 ETWP; Proposed Designation of Critical Habitat for the Northern Great Plains Breeding Population of the Piping Plover; Reopening of Public Comment Period and Notice of Availability of Draft Economic Analysis Proposed Rule Not Required

    To learn more about critical habitat please see http://criticalhabitat.fws.gov

    » Conservation Plans

    Habitat Conservation Plans (HCP) (learn more) (Showing 3 of 3)
    HCP Plan Summaries
    Magic Carpet Woods Association
    Piping Plover HCP (State of Massachusetts)
    Volusia Beaches

    » Petitions

    Most Recent Petition Findings (Showing 1 of 1)
    Date Citation Page Title Finding
    09/08/2011 76 FR 55638 55641 90-Day Finding on a Petition To List the Snowy Plover and Reclassify the Wintering Population of Piping Plover
  • Notice 90-day Petition Finding, Not substantial
  • » Life History

    No Life History information has been entered into this system for this species.

    » Other Resources

    NatureServe Explorer Species Reports -- NatureServe Explorer is a source for authoritative conservation information on more than 50,000 plants, animals and ecological communtities of the U.S and Canada. NatureServe Explorer provides in-depth information on rare and endangered species, but includes common plants and animals too. NatureServe Explorer is a product of NatureServe in collaboration with the Natural Heritage Network.

    ITIS Reports -- ITIS (the Integrated Taxonomic Information System) is a source for authoritative taxonomic information on plants, animals, fungi, and microbes of North America and the world.

    Last updated: October 22, 2014