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Great Lakes Piping Plovers
Get Involved

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Recovery actions, aided by many volunteers, and beach visitors have helped the plover population to steadily increase. With the help of people like you, we have found and protected breeding pairs in Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania and Ontario. We have also learned much about the winter habitats and migration of Great Lakes Piping Plovers. Please join us to help to save the Great Lakes Piping Plover for generations to come. 

Support Great Lakes Piping Plover Recovery

You can donate here if you would like to support Piping Plover recovery, protection and conservation in the Great Lakes.


This is a tax deductible Foundation through the University of Minnesota. 100% of your donation will go towards equipment or activities that benefit this endangered bird.

How you can help when you visit the beach

-Keep pets on leashes and out of “No Pets” areas

-Report any pets off-leash or in restricted areas to local monitors or local law enforcement

-Clean up any food scraps, plastic or other garbage left on the beach

-Don’t feed gulls, crows or other wild animals

-Report sightings of Piping Plovers in areas where there aren’t known nests (no plover fencing)

-Volunteer to help monitor Piping Plover nesting activities and survey beaches

-Don't fly kites or kite-boards near plover nesting areas

Piping Plover Nest Monitors

Nest monitors, both staff and volunteer, are the backbone of Piping Plover Recovery.  If you have patience, reasonably good vision and enjoy spending time outdoors hiking on beaches and observing bird behavior in all kinds of weather consider joining the team.  A one-day training takes place in early May.


Information on nest monitoring opportunities are available at several locations from the following state and federal contacts:

Michigan State Parks - Alicia Ihnken -


Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore - Vince Cavalieri (231) 326-4751,

Hiawatha National Forest (East Unit) - Interim contact: Stephanie Schubel,


Hiawatha National Forest (West Unit) - Janet Ekstrum, (906) 474-6442 ext140,


Whitefish Point Unit - Seney NWR - Liz Throckmorton, (517) 580-7634

or Sara Siekierski (906) 586-9851 ext11),

Grand Marais, Escanaba, and other Upper Peninsula locations - Interim contact: Stephanie Schubel,

Other States Interim contact: Stephanie Schubel,

Canada - Birds Canada,

Bark Ranger
Bark Rangers

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore has created an educational "Bark Ranger" program to help inform dog owners about responsible ways to enjoy the beach with their pets. If you have a well behaved dog you can volunteer to spend time on a beach where dogs are allowed making educational contacts with other dog owners.

For information about joining the Sleeping Bear Dunes Bark Ranger program contact:

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore - Vince Cavalieri (231) 326-4751,

Winter Observers

Much of  what we know about the eight to nine months of the year that Great Lakes Piping Plovers aren't in the Great Lakes area is through the efforts of the many citizen scientists who take time to record and report the band colors on plovers that they see in migration and on their wintering territories. There's no need to sign up to help with this very important activity. Simply record and report your observations

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