Midwest Region


November 13, 2013

A Great Year for Piping Plover!

Piping plover chicks. Photo by USFWS.
Piping plover chicks. Photo by USFWS.

The 2013 breeding season was one of the most successful in the history of the Great Lakes piping plover recovery program. At 66 pairs, this season marks the second highest breeding pair total since the species was listed as endangered in the mid-1980s. The summer also marked the second highest number of chicks fledged at 124.

The story of the piping plover could have easily ended the same way as the passenger pigeon or the dusky seaside sparrow. Once on the edge of extinction with only 12 breeding pairs left in the wild, the Great Lakes piping plover has made a tremendous comeback. What has made the difference? A partnership dedicated to the recovery of piping plovers in the Great Lakes.

Watch the video to learn more!


The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit

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Last updated: June 15, 2016