Great Lakes Piping Plovers
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, 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.
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
-Fly kites and kite-boards away from 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 Michigan locations from the following state and federal contacts:
Whitefish Point Unit - Seney NWR - Liz Throckmorton, (517) 580-7634 firstname.lastname@example.org
or Sara Siekierski (906) 586-9851 ext11), email@example.com
Other States - Interim contact: Stephanie Schubel, firstname.lastname@example.org
Canada - Birds Canada, email@example.com
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 bark ranger program contact:
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.