Newport Field Office
Western Snowy Plover Predator Management
Snowy plover predators identified along the Oregon Coast include
American crow (Corvus brachyrhychos), common raven (C.
corax), red fox (Vulpes vulpes), raccoon (Procyon
lotor), striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis), black rat
(Rattus rattus), and feral cat (Felix catus).
Other suspected predators include coyotes (Canis latrans),
mink (Mustela vison), short and long-tailed weasel (Mustela
spp.), Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana), gray
fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), Norway rats (Rattus
norvegicus), spotted skunk (Spilogale putorius), and
gulls (Laris spp.) The table below shows the number of
known predation events between 1990 and 2007 that caused snowy
plover nest failure on the Oregon coast.
Causes of snowy plover nest failure on the Oregon
Cause of Nest Loss
Corvid (crows and raven) depredation
Avian depredation (of eggs or chicks)
Buried by wind blown sand
On the Oregon Coast, snowy plover predator control has historically
been in the form of nest exclosures and site specific lethal control.
The use of nest exclosures (fenced areas which keep predators
out but allow plovers to leave and return) has been very successful.
Over time, exclosures may become less effective, possibly due
to predators adapting to the presence ofthe exclosures and using
them to key in on adults, chicks, and eggs.
Predator Management Program
In 2002, federal and state agencies approved an integrated predator
management program to improve plover nesting and fledgling success.
The decision followed public review and comment on an analysis
of the effects of the proposed predator control methods, and alternatives,
to protect the Pacific Coast population of the western snowy plover
The Bureau of Land Management and Oregon State Parks have been
conducting predator control activities since 2002 at selected
plover breeding sites in Coos and Curry counties.
The USDA Forest Service began predator control efforts on their
lands in Lane and Douglas counties in 2004.