- We monitored the distribution, abundance and productivity of the federally threatened Western Snowy Plover (Charadrius nivosus nivosus) along the central and south coast of Oregon from 5 April – 14 September 2017. The project area surveyed and monitored for plover activity from north to south included Sutton Beach, Siltcoos River estuary, the Dunes Overlook, North and South Tahkenitch Creek, Tenmile Creek, Coos Bay North Spit, Bandon Snowy Plover Management Area, New River HRA and adjacent lands, and Floras Lake. Our objectives in 2017 were to: 1) estimate the size of the adult Snowy Plover population, 2) locate plover nests, 3) determine nest success, 4) implement nest protection as appropriate (e.g. ropes, signs, exclosures), 5) monitor a sample of broods to determine brood fate and plover productivity, and 6) use cameras and observational data to document predator activity at nests.
We estimated the resident number of Snowy Plovers in Oregon at 468 individuals, a decline from the 2016 season. We monitored 548 nests in 2017. Overall apparent nest success was 42%. Nest failures were attributed to unknown cause, unknown depredation, harrier depredation, corvid depredation, one egg nest, mammalian depredation, unknown avian depredation, wind/weather, abandonment, infertility, overwashing, gull depredation and human caused. We monitored 200 of 229 known broods, and documented a minimum of 285 fledglings. Overall brood success was 75%, fledging success was 50%, based on the overall number of resident males, 1.23 chicks fledged per resident male.
- Lauten DJ, Castelein KA, Farrar JD, Kotaich AA, Kyrgsman E, Gaines EP. 2017. The Distribution and Reproductive Success of the Western Snowy Plover along the Oregon Coast - 2017. Oregon Biodiversity Information Center, Portland State University, Portland, OR. 62 pp.