- From 26 March – 19 September 2013 we monitored the distribution, abundance and productivity of the federally Threatened Western Snowy Plover (Charadrius nivosus 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 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 for the Oregon coastal population in 2013 were to: 1) estimate the size of the adult Snowy Plover population, 2) locate plover nests, 3) determine nest success, 4) use mini-exclosures (MEs) to protect nests from predators as needed, 5) determine fledging success, 6) monitor brood movements, 7) collect general observational data about predators, and 8) evaluate the effectiveness of predator management.
We observed an estimated 304 adult Snowy Plovers; a minimum of 190-191 individuals was known to have nested. The adult plover population was the highest estimate recorded since monitoring began in 1990. We monitored 381 nests in 2013; the highest number of nests since monitoring began in 1990. Overall apparent nest success was 24%. Exclosed nests (n = 18) had an 83% apparent nest success rate, and unexclosed nests (n = 362) had a 21% apparent nest success rate. Nest failures were attributed to unknown depredation, unknown cause, avian depredation, corvid depredation, one-egg nests, wind/weather, abandonment, mammalian depredation, overwashed, infertility, and adult plover depredation. We monitored 101 broods, including eight from unknown nests, and documented a minimum of 103 fledglings. Overall brood success was 71%, fledging success was 39%, and 1.04 fledglings per male were produced.
Continued predator management, habitat improvement and maintenance, and management of recreational activities at all sites are recommended to maintain recovery goals.
- Lauten, David J., Kathleen A. Castelein, J. Daniel Farrar, Melissa F. Breyer, and Eleanor P. Gaines. The Distribution and Reproductive Success of the Western Snowy Plover along the Oregon Coast - 2013. Oregon Biodiversity Information Center, Institute for Natural Resources. Portland, Oregon. December 30, 2013.