Bird of the Month

by Lauren Kane (VM16)

© 2007 Cal Vornberger

The Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus) are small shorebirds that breed only in three regions in North America: Atlantic Coast, the Northern Great Plains, and the Great Lakes. Piping plover were listed as threatened and endangered in 1986 and is an endangered species in Illinois. There is estimated to be 2,800 breeding pairs throughout the three North American regions. Breeding habitat has been replaced with shoreline development and recreation, which overtime, decreases the quality foraging and roosting habitat of these birds. Currently, the Fish and Wildlife Services have two main goals to recover this species and remove them from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants. The first is to achieve well-distributed increases in numbers and productivity of breeding pairs, and secondly, to provide long-term protection of breeding and wintering plovers and their habitats. For more information, please visit

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