Piping Plover - Kouchibouguac
The piping plover (Charadrius melodus) is a small endangered shorebird listed under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA). This species uses ocean shorelines as breeding grounds and nests in soft sandy areas with sparse vegetation above the high tide water line. These birds are indicators for the condition of coastal ecosystems due to their critical status; but also since this species is susceptible to human disturbance, habitat loss or alterations, predation, and sensitive to inclement weather related to sea level rise or climate change. The extensive barrier islands within Kouchibouguac National Park host a considerable percentage of the population along the Atlantic Coast therefore our role is crucial in the outcome of this species on a continental scale. The purpose of the piping plover monitoring program is to evaluate the general population status of these birds through productivity (i.e., number of fledglings or hatchlings per nesting pair) and abundance (i.e., number of nesting pairs); in addition to enhance breeding success with the implementation of protective measures and outreach education. The program is also an integral part of the species recovery and contributes to a long-term productivity dataset in collaboration with other government agencies or non-profit organizations. The methods for this measure involve an annual census from early May to mid-August along the entire 25 km of coastline. Nest locations are marked with a global positioning system, then are monitored every 3 to 5 days for bird observations, breeding pairs, and/or nest activity. Additional information on the outcome and progress of each nest is recorded in order to relate productivity with the fate of the clutch. This monitoring is carried out for the duration of the breeding season, until all chicks have fledged and all adults have left the Park beaches.
- Publisher - Current Organization Name: Parks Canada
- Contributor: Canadian Wildlife Service
- Licence: Open Government Licence - Canada