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Newport Field Office
Western Snowy Plover
Key Information on the Oregon Coast Population

Coastal Nesting Areas

There are eight main nesting areas for the western snowy plover on the Oregon Coast.

Five nesting areas occur on federal lands managed by the USDA Forest Service. These sites are located at Baker Beach/Sutton Beach, Siltcoos Estuary, Oregon Dunes Overlook, Tahkenitch Estuary, and Tenmile Estuary.

Another nesting area is located on the Coos Bay North Spit and is managed cooperatively by the Bureau of Land Management, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Army Corps of Engineers.

One nesting area is at New River Spit which is comprised of federal, county and private lands and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management.

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department manages one nesting area at Bandon State Natural Area.

Photo - Snowy plover nesting beach (Courtesy of Kathleen Castelein).

Size of the Coastal Population

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has coordinated a breeding window survey of the Oregon coastal population each June from 1978 to 2001. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has coordinated the survey since 2002. Breeding window surveys estimate the number of birds seen, during a one week census, in May. The Oregon Biodiversity Information Center (formerly Oregon Natural Heritage Information Center) has monitored breeding and non-breeding snowy plovers on the Oregon coast since 1990 with funding provided by state and federal agencies.

Photo - Western snowy plover on the beach (Courtesy of Dave Pitkin, USFWS).

 

Breeding Season Population Estimates

In 2012, biologists with the Institute for Natural Resources at Portland State University observed about 290 adult snowy plovers; a minimum of 231 individuals was known to have nested. The adult plover population was the highest estimate recorded since monitoring began in 1990, continuing a steadily increasing trend in Oregon (Lauten et al. 2012).

Year

#Breeding
Adults

#Adults
in Oregon

1990
*59
-
1991
*35
-
1992
*28
-
1993
55-61
72
1994
67
83
1995
94
120
1996
110-113
134-137
1997
106-110
141
1998
75
97
1999
77
95-96
2000
89
109
2001
79-80
111-113
2002
80
99-102
2003
93
102-107
2004
120
136-142
2005
104
153-158
2006
135
177-179
2007
162
181-184

2008

129

187-199

2009
149
206
2010
175
236
2011
214
247-253
2012
231-238
290-291

*Estimate based on annual survey. All other based on annual breeding season monitoring and banded birds.


Photo - Western Snowy Plover chicks (Courtesy of B. Casler).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number of Nests and Fledglings

In addition to monitoring the population, Oregon Biodiversity Information Center biologists also find nests and return when they hatch to band the chicks. Each nest typically has three eggs and female adult plover can renest up to three times during the breeding season. In 2012, biologists observed 314 nests and 173 fledglings. The table below shows the number of fledglings produced on the Oregon coast between 1990 and 2012 (Lauten et al. 2012).  The table also lists the annual productivity of the population, or the number of fledglings produced by each male, since the males provide parental care to the chicks after hatching .  The recovery goal (Recovery Plan for the Pacific Coast Population of the Western Snowy Plover) for the plover is 1.00 chicks per male, and the Oregon population has met this goal nearly every year for the last ten years.

Year

# Fledged
chicks

#Fledged chicks/male

1990
3
-
1991
16
-
1992
34
1.25
1993
36
1
1994
56
1.483
1995
58
1.194
1996
47
0.881
1997
41
0.833
1998
32
0.833
1999
54
1.268
2000
43
0.973
2001
32
0.842
2002
31
0.7
2003
60
1.061
2004
108
1.645
2005
78
1.259
2006
110
1.559
2007
124
1.494

2008

73
1.06
2009
107
1.288
2010
84
0.92
2011
172
1.371
2012
173
1.186
 
Photo - Snowy Plover eggs in nest (Courtesy Kathy Castelein).
Photo - Snowy plover chick with band (Courtesy of Kathleen Castelein).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Related Documents

Habitat Conservation Plan

Habitat Conservation Plan
(2008)

Draft Environmental Impact Statement
(2007)

News Release
(2/26/08)

Frequently Asked Questions

Map of Recovery Areas

Federal Register Notices
Public Comment Period Reopening
(2/26/08)

Habitat Conservation Plan Application
(11/5/07)


News Releases

Plover Nesting Success Highest in 16 Years
(10/4/06)


Western Snowy Plover to Retain Threatened Status
(4/21/06)

Draft Economic Analysis Released for Snowy Plover
(8/16/05)


Facts and Q&A
Pacific Coast Population of Western Snowy Plover
(4/21/06)


Letter to Interested Parties
Proposed Special Rule to Promote Conservation under Section4(d) of the ESA
(April 2006)