Endangered Species Program
Conserving the Nature of America
  • Spotlight Species

Featured Species | Piping Plover (Atlantic Coast Population) (06:26)

Host: Sarah Leon with Anne Hecht

Piping Plover (Atlantic Coast) (click to view larger)
piping plover
Photo credit: USFWS


Status: Threatened/ Listed on December 11, 1985
Scientific Name: Charadrius melodus
Description: The Piping plover is a dainty, sand-colored shorebird, distinguished from other small North American plovers by its pale plumage and bright orange legs. Human activities can disturb Piping Plovers on both their breeding and wintering grounds. Beachgoers, their vehicles and pets, and nest predators, such as gulls, raccoons, foxes, and feral cats often disturb and destroy nests. Increased beach use also threatens the quality of available wintering sites.
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Last updated: April 7, 2011