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Great Lakes Piping Plovers

Research and Publications

Much research has been conducted to help understand Great Lakes Piping Plovers and how to help protect the species. Since 1982 Dr Francie Cuthbert of The University of Minnesota and The University of Michigan Biological Station has led researchers focused on the genetics, behavior, habitat needs, plover/human interactions and more. Francie's team often collaborates with researchers from the other Piping Plover populations to widen the scope of our understanding of this migratory bird's needs. We've learned much that can be applied to assisting Great Lakes Piping Plovers through this ongoing effort.  

The following are citations for articles that have been published based on research conducted through the Great Lakes Piping Plover Recovery Effort. Many are the results of graduate (MS and/or Ph.D.) work overseen by Dr. Francie Cuthbert.

  • Saunders, S.P. and F.J. Cuthbert. 2015. Chick mortality leads to male-biased sex ratios in the endangered Great Lakes Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus). J. of Field Ornithology 86:103-114.

  • Saunders, S.P. and F.J. Cuthbert. 2014. Genetic and environmental influences on fitness related traits in an endangered shorebird population. Biological Conservation 177: 26-34.

  • Claassen, A., T. Arnold, S. Saunders, E. Roche, and F.J. Cuthbert. 2014. Factors influencing nest survival and renesting by Piping Plovers in the Great Lakes region. Condor 116: 394-407.

  • Saunders, S., T. Arnold, E. Roche and F. Cuthbert. 2014. Age-specific survival and recruitment of piping plovers in the Great Lakes region. J. of Avian Biology 45: 437-449.

  • Saunders, S.P. T.W.Y. Ong, and F.J. Cuthbert. 2013. Auditory and visual threat recognition in captive-reared Great Lakes Piping Plovers. Applied Animal Behaviour Science. 144: 153-162.

  • Brudney, L.J., T.W. Arnold, S.P. Saunders and F.J. Cuthbert. 2013. Survival of Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus) chicks in the Great Lakes region. Auk 130:150-160.

  • Hillman, M.D., S.M. Karpanty, J.D. Fraser, F.J. Cuthbert, J.M. Altman, T.E. Borneman and A.Derose-Wilson. 2012. Evidence for long-distance dispersal and successful interpopulation breeding of the endangered Piping Plover. Waterbirds 35: 642-644.

  • Gratto-Trevor, C., D. Amirault-Langlais, D.Catlin, F. Cuthbert, J. Fraser, S. Maddock, E. Roche and F. Shaffer. 2012. Connectivity in piping plovers: Do breeding populations have distinct winter distributions? J. Wildlife Mgt. 79: 348-355.

  • Saunders, S., T. Arnold, E. Roche, F.J. Cuthbert. 2012. Female site familiarity increases fledging success in piping plovers. Auk 129:329-327. 

  • LeDee, O. T. Arnold, EA Roche, F.J. Cuthbert. 2010. Use of breeding and nonbreeding encounters to estimate survival and breeding-site fidelity of the Piping Plover in the Great Lakes. Condor 112: 637-643.

  • E. A. Roche, J. B. Cohen, D. H. Catlin, D. L. Amirault, F. J. Cuthbert, C. Gratto-Trevor, J. Felio, and J. D. Fraser. 2010. Range-wide estimation of apparent survival for the Piping Plover. Journal of Wildlife Management. 74: 1784-1791.

  • LeDee, O., K.C. Nelson, and F.J. Cuthbert. 2010. The challenge of threatened and endangered species management in coastal areas. Coastal Management Journal.  38: 337-353. 

  • E. A. Roche, Arnold, T. W., F. J. Cuthbert, and J.H. Stucker. 2010. Colored plastic and metal leg bands do not affect survival of Piping Plover chicks. Journal of Field Ornithology. 81:317-324.

  • Stucker, J.H., F.J. Cuthbert, B.Winn, B.L.Noel, S.B.Maddock, P.R.Leary, J.Cordes and L.C.Wemmer. 2010. Distribution of non-breeding Great Lakes Piping Plovers along Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coastlines: ten years of band sightings. Waterbirds 33:22-32. 

  • E. A. Roche, Arnold, T. W., and F. J. Cuthbert. 2009. Apparent nest abandonment as evidence for breeding season mortality in Great Lakes Piping Plovers. Auk. 127: 402-410.  

  • Haffner, C.D., F.J. Cuthbert, and T.W. Arnold. 2008. Space use by Great Lakes Piping Plovers during the breeding season. J Field Ornithol. 80: 270-279.  

  • Roche, E.R., F.J. Cuthbert and T. Arnold. 2008. Relative fitness of wild and captive-reared Piping Plovers: does egg salvage contribute to recovery of the endangered Great Lakes population? Biological Conservation 141:3079-3088.

  • LeDee, O.E., F.J. Cuthbert, and P.V. Bolstad. 2008. A remote sensing analysis of coastal habitat composition for a threatened shorebird, the Piping Plover. Journal of Coastal Research 24:719-726.

  • Cuthbert, F.J. and E. Roche.  2008. The Piping Plover in Michigan: a 100- year perspective. Michigan Birds and Natural History. 15:29-38.

  • Haig, S., C. Ferland, F. J. Cuthbert, J. Dingledine, P. Goossen, A. Hecht, and N. McPhillips. 2005. A complete species census and evidence for regional declines in Piping Plovers. J. Wildlife Management. 69 (1): 160-173.

  • Wemmer, L.C., U. Osmezi and F.J. Cuthbert. 2001. Habitat-based population model for the Great Lakes Piping Plover population. Biological Conservation. 99(2): 169-181.

  • Wemmer, L.C. and F.J. Cuthbert. 2000. Piping Plover In: R P. Reading and B. Miller (eds.); Endangered Animals: A Reference Guide to Conflicting Issues. Greenwood Press, West Port, CT, p. 230-234.

  • Cuthbert, F.J. and L.C.Wemmer.  1999. Recovery of the endangered Great Lakes Piping Plover population:  a progress report. Pp. 125-129 in K.F. Higgins, M.R. Brashier and C.D. Kruse, eds, Proceedings, Piping Plovers and Least Terns of the Great Plains and nearby. Brookings, South Dakota State University. 

  • Wemmer, L.C. and F.J.Cuthbert.  1999. Banding Piping Plovers in the Great Lakes: an evaluation and new insights. Pp. 125-129 in K.F. Higgins, M.R. Brashier and C.D. Kruse, eds, Proceedings, Piping Plovers and Least Terns of the Great Plains and nearby. Brookings, South Dakota State University. 

  • Cuthbert, F.J., B. Scholtens, L.C. Wemmer and R. McLain.1999.Gizzard contents of Piping Plover chicks in northern Michigan.  Wilson Bulletin. 111:121-123.

  • Powell, A. N., F. J. Cuthbert, L. C. Wemmer and A. W. Doolittle.  1997. Captive rearing piping plovers:  developing techniques to augment wild populations.  Zoo Biology 16: 461-477.

  • Jolls, C.L., J.E. Johnston, and F.J. Cuthbert.  1996.  Aspects of the conservation biology of three rare endemic plants of the Great Lakes shoreline.  Association of Southeastern Biologists Bulletin 43:107.

  • Powell, A. N. and F. J. Cuthbert.  1995. Augmenting small populations of shorebirds.  In:  Readings from Conservation Biology (D. Ehrenfeld, Ed.).

  • Powell, A. N. and F.J. Cuthbert. 1993. Augmenting small populations of shorebirds: an assessment of cross fostering and captive rearing techniques.  Conservation Biology 7:160-168.

  • Powell, A. N. and F.J. Cuthbert. 1992. Nest habitat and reproductive success of Piping Plovers in the Great Lakes. Wilson Bulletin 104:155-161.

  • Wiens, T.P. and F.J. Cuthbert.   1988. Nest-site tenacity and mate retention in the Piping Plover.  Wilson Bulletin 100:545-553.

  • Wiens, T.P., and F.J. Cuthbert. 1984. Status and reproductive success of the Piping Plover in Lake of the Woods, Minnesota.  Loon 56:106-109.

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