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Meridan Tapert Environmental Science P3 February 8 th, 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "Meridan Tapert Environmental Science P3 February 8 th, 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 Meridan Tapert Environmental Science P3 February 8 th, 2014

2  Piping Plover  Charadrius melodus

3  Nesting takes place on the ground  Their life span is less than five years, on occasion up to 14 years  Piping plovers spend three to four months on their breeding grounds in the Great Lakes  Migrate to wintering areas along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts  They start arriving in Michigan and Wisconsin in late April


5  Small shore bird  7 1/4 inches long with a 15 inch wingspan  Sandy-colored feathers  Grayish-brown crowns and backs  White foreheads  Dark bands across their crowns

6  Yellow-orange legs  Black bands across their foreheads from eye to eye  Black rings around the base of their necks  Small, stocky, with short, stubby bills  Weight ranging from 1.5-2.2 oz (43-63 grams)


8  Reach sexual maturity at one year  Mate from late March through April  Females will lay about 4 gray to pale sand- colored eggs with a few dark spots  Eggs go through an incubation period of 25 days


10  Fledge 30 to 35 days later  Females leave the young when the hatchlings are 14 to 20 days old  Males remain with them until they can fly  There are just over 5,000 known pairs of breeding piping plovers


12  Marine worms  Beetles  Spiders  Crustaceans  Mollusks


14  Shoreline; Open sandy beaches or lakeshores, especially above tideline  Coastal beaches  Alkalai Flats  ephemeral lakebed which consist of fine-grained sediments infused with alkali salts


16  Territorial over nests

17  Ground forager  Search for prey visually and then pecks or quickly snatches at prey  Males compete against each other for females' attention by performing elaborate flights  Once he has her attention, he begins a high- stepping "dance," continuing the courtship ritual


19  Invertebrate Population Control  The piping plover feeds along sandy shorelines and acts as a population control factor for its prey  Predators keep prey populations at sustainable ecologically healthy levels  Pest Control  Fly larvae make up a significant portion of their diet  Control of pest species is useful to breeding mammals in the area and to human neighbors

20  Avian/ Mammalian Food Source  Other birds such as gulls, crows, owls, merlins and falcons utilize their eggs as a food source  Provide a meal for red foxes, coyotes and striped skunks etc.  An Umbrella of Protection  Environmental protection that shelters a number of other organisms in the ecosystem as well  American oystercatchers  Least terns  Wilson’s plovers  Red knots  Sea turtles  Northeastern beach tiger beetles


22  Gulls, crows, raccoons, foxes and skunks are threats to the eggs  Falcons, domestic and feral cats may prey on the adult birds  There are no known parasites or diseases that affect the bird


24  Habitat Alteration & Destruction  Loss of sandy beaches and lakeshores due to recreational, residential, and commercial development (i.e. on the Great Lakes, Atlantic Coast, and the Gulf of Mexico)  Reservoir construction, channel excavation, and modification of river flows have eliminated sandbar nesting habitat along hundreds of miles of the Missouri and Platte Rivers  Winter habitats along the Gulf coast are threatened by industrial and urban expansion and maintenance activities for commercial waterways  Pollution from spills of petrochemical products and other hazardous materials is also a concern

25  Human Disturbance  Vehicular and foot traffic Inhibits  incubation and other breeding behavior  Agricultural development and urbanization  Beach raking disrupt nutrient cycles and remove prey organisms from foraging areas


27  Endangered; Listed 1985  In 2001, the total population of Piping Plovers in North America was estimated to be 5,945 breeding adults  The Texas Gulf Coast had the highest wintering population, with about 1,042 individuals detected  This represents about 44% of birds detected on the wintering grounds during the 2001 International Piping Plover Census


29  Signs or fences are being implemented to reduce human disturbance  Vegetation management  Predator control  Pollution abatement  Habitat creation/restoration  Biologists continue to assess habitat availability and quality  Public information campaigns concerning Piping Plover conservation take place  Bird banding  Recovery plans currently exists in all areas where the bird breeds


31  Impacts the food chain  Beaches will no longer be under critical habitat protection  The other animals that live in a beach habitat will be effected


33  over/lifehistory over/lifehistory  ecies/piplover/ ecies/piplover/  ?id=10978 ?id=10978  verview.html verview.html

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