Piping Plover melodus subspecies
(Charadrius melodus melodus)

Summary

Picture of bird
© JP Goossen
For additional photos and vocalizations, visit Dendroica. (Link opens in a new window.)

The melodus subspecies of Piping Plover breeds along the Atlantic coast from Newfoundland to South Carolina. Range-wide, the population has shown little overall change compared to about 1970, although numbers in much of the U.S. Atlantic regions have increased dramatically in the past decade. Despite significant recovery efforts, counts have changed little in Atlantic Canada since dedicated surveys began in 1991. In fact, they have declined recently, and remain well below the recovery target (COSEWIC 2001a). The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC 2013c) first designated the melodus subspecies as endangered in 2001 and re-confirmed this in 2013. This species has been identified as a priority for conservation and/or stewardship in one or more Bird Conservation Region Strategies in Canada.

See also:

Piping Plover
Piping Plover circumcinctus subspecies
 

Designations

Listing of the main designations for the species
DesignationStatusDateSubspecies, population
COSEWIC (Canada)Endangered2013Piping Plover melodus subspecies
SARA (Canada)Endangered2003Piping Plover melodus subspecies
Bird Conservation Region StrategyPriority Species2013 

Population status

Geographic areaStatusReliability
CanadaLittle ChangeMedium
 

Population estimate

Canada1,000 - 10,000 adults (includes birds breeding and migrating within Canada)
 

Distribution maps

 

Migration strategy, occurrence

Short-distance migrant

Responsibility for conservation of world population

CanadaLow

Conservation and management

The species nests on beaches, where it is exposed to frequent human disturbance that can lead to abandonment or destruction of nests (Elliott-Smith and Haig 2004). Active protection of known nest sites has been successful, and has contributed a significant benefit to the populations in some parts of its Atlantic coast range. However, threats from predation, human disturbance, and declines in habitat extent and quality also continue and the population in Canada remains small (COSEWIC 2013c), all of which place the species at risk. For information on the legal status of this species under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) and to view available recovery documents, see the SARA Registry.

 

Bird conservation region strategies

Environment and Climate Change Canada and partners have developed Bird Conservation Region Strategies in each of Canada’s Bird Conservation Regions (BCRs). In these strategies, selected species are identified as priorities for one or more of the following reasons:

  • conservation concerns (i.e., species vulnerable due to population size, distribution, population trend, abundance, or threats)
  • stewardship responsibilities (i.e., species that typify the regional avifauna or have a large proportion of their range or population in the sub-region)
  • management concerns (i.e., species that require ongoing management because of their socio-economic importance as game species, or because of their impacts on other species or habitats)
  • other concerns (i.e., species deemed a priority by regional experts for other reasons than those listed above or because they are listed as species at risk or concern at the provincial level)

Select any of the sub-regions below to view the BCR strategy for additional details.

BCRs, marine biogeographic units, and sub-regions in which the species is listed as a priority
RegionSub-region and priority type
Atlantic Northern ForestsAtlantic Northern Forests, sub-region and priority type: Atlantic Region - New Brunswick
Atlantic Northern ForestsAtlantic Northern Forests, sub-region and priority type: Atlantic Region - Nova Scotia
Atlantic Northern ForestsAtlantic Northern Forests, sub-region and priority type: Atlantic Region - Prince Edward Island
Atlantic Northern ForestsAtlantic Northern Forests, sub-region and priority type: Quebec Region
Boreal Softwood ShieldBoreal Softwood Shield, sub-region and priority type: Atlantic Region - Newfoundland and Labrador
Gulf of St. LawrenceGulf of St. Lawrence, sub-region and priority type: Atlantic Region - New Brunswick
Gulf of St. LawrenceGulf of St. Lawrence, sub-region and priority type: Atlantic Region - Newfoundland and Labrador
Gulf of St. LawrenceGulf of St. Lawrence, sub-region and priority type: Atlantic Region - Nova Scotia
Gulf of St. LawrenceGulf of St. Lawrence, sub-region and priority type: Atlantic Region - Prince Edward Island
Newfoundland and Labrador Shelves Newfoundland and Labrador Shelves , sub-region and priority type: Atlantic Region - Newfoundland and Labrador
Scotian ShelfScotian Shelf, sub-region and priority type: Atlantic Region - New Brunswick
Scotian ShelfScotian Shelf, sub-region and priority type: Atlantic Region - Nova Scotia
 

References