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Newport Field Office
Western Snowy Plover
Habitat Restoration

Habitat Restoration Areas

Habitat restoration involves clearing European beachgrass and other invasive plant species to create more of the open sand dune habitat that plovers prefer for nesting. There are seven main snowy plover habitat restoration areas on the Oregon coast. Five are on federally-owned land, one is on state land, and one is on private land. These habitat restoration areas accounted for 34 percent of nests and 38 percent of fledglings found on the Oregon Coast between 1999 and 2007.

Photo - BEFORE restoration - European beachgrass encroachment (USFWS). Photo - AFTER restoration  (USFWS),

The USDA Forest Service has restored 25 out of a possible 140 acres of habitat at Sutton Beach along Berry Creek since 2002, and at Holman Vista. These areas have not yet been used successfully by nesting plovers.

The Dunes Overlook site is found within the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area where up to 512 acres can be restored. Prior to 1999, no plovers were found at the Dunes Overlook site. After the USDA Forest Service mechanically treated 40 acres of habitat, the plovers began nesting there successfully.

On Coos Bay North Spit there are four distinct habitat restoration areas on lands owned by the Bureau of Land Management and the Army Corps of Engineers. The first habitat restoration area was a 51-acre site created in 1994. Additional areas were created in1995, 1998, and 2000 bringing the total to 170 acres. Photo - Snowy plover habitat restored at New River Spit (USFWS).

After 1994, as a result of restoration efforts, the Coos Bay North Spit became the most productive plover nesting site on the Oregon Coast.

At Bandon State Natural Area, approximately 50 acres of habitat have been restored and maintained since 2001 by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.

Restoration efforts also increased numbers of nesting plovers and fledged young at the New River site. European beachgrass and other invasive plant species were cleared and maintained annually between 1998 and 2006.

The newest restoration site is Elk River, a 10-acre site established in 2006 and located on private land. As yet, no plovers have nested there.

 

Total number of nests at habitat restoration areas on the Oregon Coast 1994 to 2007.

Site Name
'94 '95 '96 '97 '98 '99 '00 '01 '02 '03 '04 '05 '06 '07 Total Nests
Sutton Beach
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
0
1
0
0
0
2
3
Dunes Overlook
-
-
-
-
-
2
8
15
8
9
14
16
10
16
97
Coos Bay North Spit
4
3
2
3
7
12
22
13
15
11
16
16
18
19
161
Bandon State NRA
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
4
17
22
10
19
72
New River
3
4
10
7
5
6
1
7
14
57
Elk River
                       
0
0
0
Totals

4
3
2
3
7
17
34
38
30
29
53
55
45
70
390

 

Total number of fledged young at habitat restoration areas on the Oregon Coast 1994 to 2007.
Includes fledglings from broods from undiscovered nests.

Site Name
'94
'95
'96
'97
'98
'99
'00
'01
'02
'03
'04
'05
'06
'07
Total Fledglings
Sutton Beach
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
0
0
0
0
0
0
Dunes Overlook
3
5
2
2
3
6
7
8
13
48
Coos Bay North Spit
7
2
1
1
1
23
6
6
8
14
22
6
19
9
125
Bandon State NRA
4
15
4
3
10
36
New River
2
1
3
3
7
5
1
7
14
43
Elk
River
                       
0
0
0
Totals
7
2
1
1
1
28
12
11
13
28
48
18
37
46
253