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Grants - Section 6 Traditional Grants to States

Michigan 2009 Grant Proposal (E-20-1: Amendment 1)

Complete Grant Proposal (PDF)


PROJECT STATEMENT: Research and recovery of the Great Lakes Piping Plover population.



The purpose of this amendment is to add funds to support the continuation of research and protection for nesting Piping Plovers. This research, covered in the second Project Statement of this Proposal, is part of a multi-year study being conducted by the University of Minnesota.


There are no additional funds being added to the first Project Statement for prairie fen restoration and management. Support for these activities has been shifted to State Wildlife Grants.


This amendment also modifies project personnel as MDNR’s Endangered Species Coordinator position is currently vacant with the departure of Todd Hogrefe. Until the position is filled, Sherry MacKinnon (Eastern Upper Peninsula Ecologist Planner) is serving as Acting Endangered Species Coordinator. All other aspects of this Grant Proposal and Segment 1 remain as previously approved.


PROJECT STATEMENT: Research and recovery of the Great Lakes Piping Plover population.

The purpose of the proposed project is to address three research objectives key to recovery of the endangered Great Lakes Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus) population. Research outlined in this proposal will be conducted to: 1) derive estimates of adult and juvenile survival and sexspecific population age structure, 2) derive estimates of individual and population levels of genetic diversity 3) and rank nest-site productivity. Refined estimates of survival and population age structure will help predict population changes and time to recovery. Genetic analysis will inform management strategies aimed at minimization of inbreeding and persistence of genetically unique lineages. Comparison of productivity at different breeding sites will improve recommendations for site-based protection and management strategies. Research and recovery activities will be conducted at all sites occupied by Piping Plovers in Michigan.



The Great Lakes population is the smallest and most imperiled of the three breeding populations of the Piping Plover, a shorebird endemic to North America (Wemmer et al. 2001). A majority of breeding pairs nests in Michigan (89% of 2007 breeding pairs), but the population has shown recent signs of expansion, with pairs nesting in Wisconsin and Ontario; the 2007 estimate of breeding pairs was 63 (Cuthbert & Roche 2007). This population was listed as endangered in 1986 (USFWS 1985). Despite recent increases in size since it was listed, this population remains extremely vulnerable to predation, demographic and environmental stochasticity, depleted genetic diversity, public recreation and continued shoreline development. However, breeding
pair estimates from summer 2007 demonstrate that long-term research, management and protection are having a positive impact on the population. Research to understand plover habitat use, movements, survival and fledging rates has been conducted since the mid-1980s and continues to be critical for the recovery of the species. The purpose of the proposed project is to address three research objectives key to recovery of this population in Michigan and elsewhere in the Great Lakes.


Complete Grant Proposal (PDF)


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Last updated: April 14, 2015