Wisconsin Ecological Services Field Office

Midwest Region


Wisconsin Field Office

2661 Scott Tower Drive
Green Bay, WI 54229-9565
Phone: 920-866-1717
Fax: 920-866-1710
TTY: 1-800-877-8339 (Federal Relay)

e-mail: GreenBay@fws.gov


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Piping Plover - Great Lakes Population

Charadrius melodus



A pair of piping plovers that nested in Door County.

Photo by USFWS; Joel Trick


Piping Plover in Wisconsin


Life History




Conservation and Management

The piping plover is a small shorebird and its Great Lakes Population nests on the shores of Lake Michigan and Lake Superior, then migrates to and winters along the southern Atlantic and Gulf coasts in the U.S. The Great Lakes population of piping plover is listed as "endangered" under the federal Endangered Species Act.


When listed, piping plovers nested only in Michigan and numbers were down to 15 pairs. An active recovery program in Michigan, aided by many volunteers, helped the plover population to steadily increase and expand its range. Piping plovers now also nest in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Ontario, Canada; although in small numbers.


Critical Habitat


Critical Habitat in Wisconsin


Fact Sheet


Great Lakes Piping Plover Home


Piping Plover Species' Profile (on FWS National Website)




Wisconsin Endangered Species Home

Wisconsin ES Field Office Home



Last updated: January 7, 2020