Western Snowy Plover Research
The Western Snowy Plover is a threatened shorebird that breeds along the west coast of the U.S. Because of this status, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has set goals to restore plover numbers throughout the region. In addition, the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project, a 50-year effort to return half of the Bay's salt ponds back to tidal marsh, has also established goals to increase plover numbers in the Bay Area. Since 2003, SFBBO has worked with both of these efforts to study and conserve local plovers.
We survey salt ponds to locate breeding habitat and monitor plovers to determine nest and fledging success. Each spring our biologists band plover chicks to track their movements and survival, and use remote trail cameras to identify predators such as corvids, gulls, and foxes. In addition, citizen scientists help us conduct winter surveys so we know how plovers use the Bay outside the breeding season, and we enhance plover habitat. If you spot a banded Snowy Plover, please contact Plover Program Director Ben Pearl at firstname.lastname@example.org).