Midwest Region Conserving the nature of America

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
in the Midwest

The Midwest Region includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin.
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Ecological Services

We work with public and private entities to conserve and restore Michigan's endangered species, migratory birds, wetlands, and other important fish and wildlife resources.


Piping Plover - Great Lakes Population

Charadrius melodus


Piping plover

Adult piping plover at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park in Michigan.

Photo by USFWS; Vince Cavelieri


Comprehensive Conservation Strategy

for the Piping Plover in its Coastal Migration and Wintering Range in the Continental United States(Dec. 2012)

The Comprehensive Conservation Strategy synthesizes conservation needs across the shared coastal migration and wintering ranges of the three federally-listed piping plover populations.


s Piping plover in non-breeding plumage.
Photo by Sidney Maddock

Comprehensive Conservation Strategy (appendices not included) 125-page PDF; 1MB


Appendix 1 89-page PDF; 791KB


Appendix 2 17-page PDF; 980KB


Appendix 3 7-page PDF; 69KB



Piping Plover Images on Flickr


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

2016 Field Notes

2014 Field Notes

2013 Field Notes

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.

Audio Clip



Volunteers Needed!

Help protect and monitor piping plover nests


About Piping Plovers


Midwest Region Piping Plover Home


Piping Plover - Volunteers Needed


Piping Plover Species' Profile (on FWS National Website)


Success Story

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 >>





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