Looking for Signs of Piping Plover

DULUTH, MINN.  –The warmer days mean it’s once again migration season for shorebirds coming back to the Great Lakes.

The St. Louis River Alliance is monitoring both the Wisconsin and Minnesota beaches for the critically endangered Piping Plover. They have a team of employees and volunteers who work day and night to monitor the beaches for any signs of the bird. The River Alliance says these birds’ main threats are habitat loss and predators. They have set up a habitat specific beach at Wisconsin Point where they are able to control the variables that might further endanger the Piping Plover.

Mikayla Erickson, the lead OF THE Piping Plover Project said, “We have created the beach specifically based on beach slop, specific sized rock, things like that that we can’t necessarily handle on park point. One big thing too is we’re able to close off the beach during nesting season which keeps away human interaction as well as predators in the form of a dog or other animals that may not be on their leash who raise a very high risk of being a predator.”

Their recovery plans are showing improvement in bird population levels. Their project Lead says last year they had the most successful amount of fledglings since the bird originally went endangered.

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