Restoration of Piping Plover Populations Require
Restoration and Regulations of Nesting Beaches
Over the last century, the exponential increase in the human population from 1.6 billion to around 7 billion currently, and massive worldwide industrialization have produced substantial demands on natural resources and pressures on many ecosystems. With the dramatic expansion in the population growth business and leisure related activities have also increased, and subsequently has the transportation to those areas, allowing access to more areas globally and regionally than ever before. However, this economic expansion of society has come at a cost. Increased recreational opportunities and transportation to recreational destinations such as beaches along the eastern and western coasts, the effect on the environment has begun to show (Worlometer, 2013). Ecosystems have undergone significant changes from the demands of human activities, and many species within these ecosystems have felt these effects. The pressures that have been applied on shorebirds and their effects are under the particular examination of this report. Shorebirds are incredible migratory birds that travel seasonally along the coastlines of northern and southern parts of the continent, which do so to reach both breeding sites and migratory sites(LeDee et al. 2008). Over the last two to three decades, habitat alteration and damage by humans has caused a significant decrease in shorebird populations, especially along the Atlantic coastlines of Northern America, some of which have experienced declines of 50%-80% during this time (Li 2013). With many species declining rapidly the diversity of shorebirds, and even existence of some shorebirds have been threatened. One in particular is the now federally threatened Piping Plover, a mainly coastal shorebird of the eastern coastlines of the Atlantic, which according to Gratto-Trevor and Abbott (2011), has been reduced to a total population of around only 8,000. In response to this, conservation biologists have quickly been working towards efforts to help better understand these pressures and restore the coastal habitats to preserve the piping plover population (Maslo et al., 2011). In response to the rapid declines seen in the piping plover and the efforts being made by conservationists, this proposal focuses on two major research questions: how can we help restore the piping plover population, and how can we prevent further decline of its population? Within the following report, I propose the solution to help the future populations of piping plovers relies on habitat preservation and restoration. However, it’s important to first examine the situational issues that have arisen from human population growth and their applied pressures, as the measures that must be taken to restore the habitat and their population. Piping Plovers are federally endangered shorebirds that breed along partially vegetated shorelines of the U.S. and Canada, the Great Lakes, the U.S. Great Plains, Canadian Prairies and the Southwest Coast of Newfoundland. They migrate to winter sites along the both the U.S. coast of the Atlantic, the Gulf coast of Mexico, the coasts of Mexico and even the Caribbean (Gratto-trevor & Abbott, 2011). The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services states that there are three breeding populations of Piping Plover specific to the geographic regions in which they breed in: Piping Plovers of the Northern Great Plains; Piping Plovers of the Great Lakes; and piping plovers of Atlantic Coast. Although breeding populations are isolated from one another depending on their historic sites, many are demographically connected with non-breeding habitats that they share (Roche et al., 2010). These migrant shorebirds rely on both coastal and estuarial habitats during their non-breeding season, and rely on the quality and composition of winter sites to survive. Piping plover nesting habitats are on sandy beaches,...
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Conn, T., Goodwin, C. 2012. The Plight of the Piping Plover: My Summer of Shorebird
Conservation and Public Outreach at Cape Cod National Seashore
Gratto-Trevor, C. L., Abbott, S. 2011. Conservation of piping plover (Charadrius
melodus) in North America: Science, successes, and challenges
LeDee, O. E., Cuthbert, F. J., Bolstad, P. V. 2008. A Remote Sensing Analysis of Coastal
Habitat Composition for a Threatened Shorebird, the Piping Plover (Charadrius
Li, J. 2013. A critique of conservation and management of shore-nesting birds. International
Journal of Biology 5: 46-51.
Maslo, B., Burger, J., Handel, S. N. 2012. Modeling Foraging Behavior of Piping Plovers to
Evaluate Habitat Restoration Success
Maslo, B., Handel, S. N., Pover, T. 2011. Restoring Beaches for Atlantic Coast Piping
Plovers (Charadrius melodus): A Classification and Regression Tree Analysis
McIntyre, A. F., Heath, J. A., Jannsen, J. 2010. Trends in Piping Plover Reproduction at
Jones Beach State Park, NY, 1995-2007
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