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Great Lakes Piping Plovers

Plover Recovery Workers

Helping an endangered species to recover takes many dedicated people. Here are a few of the many people on the front lines of giving Great Lakes Piping Plovers a chance.

Nest Monitors

Nest monitors are the face and the backbone of breeding season protection. They're in the field in most any weather keeping track of the activities and health of nesting plovers. Monitors also assist the beach-going public to understand and enjoy these rare shorebirds and document their observations to aid in our understanding and ability to protect Piping Plovers. Monitors range from volunteers to interns to paid employees. All are devoted to the recovery of Piping Plovers.

A few of the many monitors from the summer of 2018. If you were a nest monitor and would like to be included here please send a photo to

Banding and Research

The University of Minnesota sponsors the banding efforts for the Great Lakes Piping Plovers. Directed by Dr. Francie Cuthbert, the crew bands all chicks every summer, and re-bands nesting adults with unique color-band patterns. They also conduct and facilitate research on Great Lakes Piping Plovers.

Captive-rearing Staff

Captive-rearing is an important aspect of Great Lakes Piping Plover recovery.  The Salvage Captive-rearing program is headed by Tom Schneider and Bonnie Van Dam of the Detroit Zoo. Numerous zoos nationwide send avian-specialist zookeepers for a two-week opportunity to take care of the eggs and chicks that hatch from rescued nests.

Also...(no photos)

Charlie Ramsey - Detroit Zoo

Jennifer Preusser - Denver Zoo

Winter Observers

We rely heavily on volunteers and observers from other research groups to keep track and help protect Piping Plovers during the non-breeding season. People look for and report Great Lakes Piping Plovers on the wintering grounds. There has been a core group over the years that consistently monitor the plovers, however anyone can help out. If you see a plover, note the colors and positions of bands on its legs and send us as much information (date, location, etc...) as you can. Then you too will be part of the greater Great Lakes Piping Plover recovery effort!

Winter sightings of banded piping plovers should be submitted to For more information  go to "Report a Banded Piping Plover". 

Also...(no photos)

Sid Maddock - NC, SC, GA, FL.

Ed and Aija Konrad - Citizen Scientists, South Carolina

Mark Andrews - Citizen Scientist, South Carolina

Paula Feldman - Citizen Scientist, South Carolina

Diana Churchill - Citizen Scientist, Georgia

Mark Bartosik - Citizen Scientist, Texas

Lindsay Addison  and crew - Audubon North Carolina

...and many more! Thank you!

(if you would like to be added to this list please send your name/photo to


This recovery effort is a collaboration between people working for various organizations ranging from local, state, and federal levels. None of this would be possible without people working across agencies and organizations toward the common goal of Piping Plover protection.