In 1985, the Atlantic coast piping plover was listed as federally threatened under the Endangered Species Act (Federal Register 1985). Despite a population increase from 790 plover pairs in 1986 to 1,890 plover pairs in 2007, degradation of habitat, human disturbance, and intensified predation pressure continue to be limiting factors for piping plovers and other beach dependent birds on the Atlantic seaboard. Limiting factors have reduced the amount of optimal breeding habitat available and caused disturbance, which contribute to poor reproductive success of piping plovers and other beach nesting species. For example, construction of resorts, homes, and coastal engineering such as jetties and seawalls reduced piping plover nesting. Peak beach visitation occurs from April to September and coincides with breeding of the beach nesting piping plover.
Learn more about piping plovers.