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Conservation of Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus) in North America: science, successes, and challenges

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There are only about 8000 Piping Plovers (Charadrius melodus Ord, 1834) in existence. Because they depend on environments that are under intense human pressures and controls in both their breeding and wintering grounds, these birds and their habitats are highly managed in many areas across their range. Efforts to recover this endangered and threatened species have engaged thousands of people from Newfoundland to the Caribbean, and have provoked a ground-swell of public support and, at times, fury, as well as a considerable body of research. Although populations have increased substantially in the U.S. Atlantic and U.S. Great Lakes, this is not true of all regions. Significant issues still exist with respect to the efficacy of predator management; need for more accurate model input information; effects of climate, pollutants, and water management; habitat loss and degradation from recreation and development; and whether the cost and effort of management for this species can be maintained or increased where needed.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Prairie and Northern Wildlife Research Centre, Science and Technology Branch, Environment Canada, 115 Perimeter Road, Saskatoon, SK S7N 0X4, Canada. 2: Bird Studies Canada, 45 Alderney Drive, 16th floor, Dartmouth, NS B3K 1R7, Canada.

Publication date: 2011-05-01

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  • Published since 1929, this monthly journal reports on primary research contributed by respected international scientists in the broad field of zoology, including behaviour, biochemistry and physiology, developmental biology, ecology, genetics, morphology and ultrastructure, parasitology and pathology, and systematics and evolution. It also invites experts to submit review articles on topics of current interest.
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