East Lansing Ecological Services Field Office

Midwest Region


East Lansing Field Office
2651 Coolidge Road
East Lansing, MI 48823
Phone: 517-351-2555
Fax: 517-351-1443
TTY: 1-800-877-8339

(Federal Relay)

e-mail: EastLansing@fws.gov

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Piping Plover Patrol

Attention bird lovers and conservationists!

We need your help to monitor nests.


Two piping plover on water's edge.

Photo by USFWS; Joel Trick

Volunteers to monitor piping plover nests are needed at several locations in the Upper and Lower Peninsulas of Michigan during May thru August, the piping plover breeding season. Monitors observe plover pairs on their nesting territories and collect data on nesting and hatchling activity. They may also serve as on-site “plover conservation ambassadors” to the public. See a related article on Page 3 of the Michigan Coastal News (PDF)


The shores of the Great Lakes were once home to nearly 800 pairs of piping plovers. Today, about 60 nesting pairs remain in the entire state. In 1986, the piping plover was placed on the Federal Register and listed as endangered. Their rapid population decline was, in part, due to nest disruption and predation.  Successful recovery requires our help.


Since some training is involved, a minimum commitment of a week or a couple of weekends is requested. Information on nest monitoring opportunities at several Michigan locations is available from the following state and federal contacts:


Ludington, Wilderness, and Tawas State Parks - Lisa Gamero, (517) 241-4789 or gamerol@michigan.gov;


Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore - Volunteer Coordinator- (231) 326-4700;


Hiawatha National Forest (East Unit) - Steve Sjogren, (906) 643-7900 x 134 or ssjogren@fs.fed.us;


Hiawatha National Forest (West Unit) - Janet Ekstrum, (906) 474-6442 x 140 or jekstrum@fs.fed.us;


Grand Marais, Escanaba, and other Upper Peninsula locations - Christie Deloria, (906) 226-1240 or christie_deloria@fws.gov


Thank you for your concern and help.


Back to Piping Plover page

Last updated: February 10, 2016
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