East Lansing Field Office
Connect With Us
Piping Plover - Great Lakes Population
Piping plovers are small, stocky, sand-colored shorebirds. The piping plovers that nest in Michigan are part of the Great Lakes populations and are one of the most critically endangered species in this region. The Great Lakes population nests on the shores of Lakes Michigan and Superior and winters along the southern Atlantic and Gulf coasts in the U.S.
An active recovery program in Michigan, aided by many volunteers, has helped the plover population to steadily increase. In 2008, there were 63 breeding pairs (126 individuals). Of these, 53 pairs nested in Michigan, while 10 were found outside the state, including six pairs in Wisconsin and four in Ontario, Canada. A single breeding pair discovered in 2007 in the Great Lakes region of Canada represented the first confirmed piping plover nest there in over 30 years, and in 2008 the number of nesting pairs further increased to four. In 2009, a pair of piping plovers nested on the Lake Michigan shoreline in Illinois, the first nest in Illinois in 30 years.
Piping Plover Field Journals
View a Video
Piping Plover Conservation
Listen to a podcast!
Jack Dingledine, the Great Lakes Piping Plover Recovery Coordinator talks about the piping plover's conservation story.
About Piping Plovers
Return of the Piping Plover to Whitefish Point: A Seney National Wildlife Refuge Success Story
August 1, 2012
As waves wash lightly along the cobble-lined shoreline, the 647 foot Great Lakes Freighter, Arthur M. Anderson, drifts by silently on the horizon. A few lone “peeps” are heard off in the distance and to the avid birder it is the distinct sound of the federally endangered Great Lakes piping plover. Read more >>