- From 1 April – 24 September 2008, we monitored the distribution, abundance and productivity
of the federally Threatened Western Snowy Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus nivosus) along the Oregon
coast. From north to south, we surveyed and monitored plover activity at Sutton Beach, Siltcoos River
estuary, the Dunes Overlook, North Tahkenitch Creek, Tenmile Creek, Coos Bay North Spit, Bandon
Beach, and New River. Our objectives for the Oregon coastal population in 2008 were to: 1) estimate
the size of the adult Snowy Plover population, 2) locate plover nests, 3) continue selected use of miniexclosures
(MEs) to protect nests from predators and evaluate whether exclosure use can be reduced, 4)
determine nest success, 5) determine fledgling success, 6) monitor brood movements, 7) collect general
observational data about predators, and 8) evaluate the effectiveness of predator management.
We observed an estimated 187-199 adult Snowy Plovers; a minimum of 129 individuals was
known to have nested. The adult plover population was the highest estimate recorded since monitoring
began in 1990, and we found 196 nests in 2008. Overall Mayfield nest success was 30%. Exclosed
nests (n = 51) had a 44% success rate, and unexclosed nests (n = 145) had a 38% success rate. Nest
failures were attributed to unknown depredation (28%), one-egg nests (17%), corvid depredation (15%),
abandonment (15%), unknown cause (9%), wind (6%), overwashed (6%), adult depredation (2%),
infertility (2%), unknown mammal depredation (1%), and weasel depredation (1%). We monitored 70
broods, including three from unknown nests, and documented a minimum of 71 fledglings. Overall
brood success was 66%, fledgling success was 47%, and 1.13 fledglings per male were produced.
Continued predator management, habitat improvement and maintenance, and management of
recreational activities at all sites are recommended to achieve recovery goals.