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Western Snowy Plover -- Oregon


We monitored the distribution, abundance and productivity of the federally threatened Western Snowy Plover (Anarhynchus nivosus nivosus) along the central and south coast of Oregon from 4 April – 15 September 2023. We surveyed and monitored plover activity in a project area that included, from north to south, Sutton Beach, Siltcoos River estuary, the Dunes Overlook, North Tahkenitch Creek, Tenmile Creek, Coos Bay North Spit, Bandon Snowy Plover Management Area, New River Habitat Restoration Area (HRA) and adjacent lands, and Floras Lake. Our objectives for the project area in 2023 were to: 1) estimate the size of the adult Snowy Plover population, 2) locate plover nests, 3) determine nest success, 4) implement nest protection as appropriate (e.g. ropes and signs), 5) monitor a sample of broods to determine brood fate and plover productivity, and 6) use cameras and observational data to document predator activity at nests. We estimated the resident number of Snowy Plovers in Oregon at 475 individuals, lower than in 2022. We monitored 567 nests in 2023. Overall apparent nest success was 34%. Nest failures were attributed to unknown depredation, harrier depredation, unknown avian depredation, corvid depredation, unknown cause, abandonment, mammalian depredation, one egg nest, gull depredation, wind/weather, overwashing, and infertility. We sampled 62 of 190 known broods that produced 87 fledglings and estimated 261 total fledglings. Using the sample, brood success was 86%, fledging success was 54%, and based on the overall number of resident males, 0.79 chicks fledged per resident male.


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