Piping Plover, Atlantic Coast Population
Northeast Region


Guidelines for Managing Recreational Activities in Piping Plover Breeding Habitat on the U.S. Atlantic Coast to Avoid Take Under Section 9 of the Endangered Species Act

The Service's guidelines are a tool for beach managers and property owners seeking to avoid potential violations of Section 9 of the Endangered Species Act and its implementing regulations. Violations can occur as the result of recreational activities on beaches used by breeding piping plovers. These guidelines are our best professional advice regarding management options that will prevent direct mortality, harm or harassment of plovers and their eggs. 

1994 Guidelines for Managing Recreational Activities (PDF)

Since 2011, we have received occasional reports of unusually delayed fledging periods and early hatch dates. To the best of our knowledge, these situations remain rare, but we continue to request reports of such instances and any potential causal factors. We are providing the below addendum to help managers provide reliable expectations to the beach-going public and to meet an expressed need for consistent guidance.

2015 Section 9 Guidelines Addendum Regarding Timing of Management to Protect Unfledged Chicks (PDF)

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.

Last updated: March 26, 2015
All images by FWS unless otherwise noted.