Day County, South Dakota
Note: This information is provided for reference purposes only. Although the information provided here was accurate and current when first created, it is now outdated.
Pesticide Table | About the Piping Plover
South Dakota Map | ESPP Home
Table of Pesticide Active Ingredients
|3||Do not apply this pesticide within 100 yards from the edge of water within the shaded area shown on the map for ground applications nr within 1/4 mile for aerial applications|
Piping plover [Charadrius melodus]
The Piping plover is a stocky, short-billed shorebird, approximately 7 inches long. It has sand colored wings, a black chestband and crown patch, a white underside, and an orange bill and legs. The plover feeds primarily by probing in the sand to catch small crustaceans, mollusks, and worms. Some insects are taken opportunistically.
The breeding season for the Piping plover is from late March to August. During this time, distinct black stripes appear on the bird's breast and forehead. Also at this time the Piping plover calls melodiously, hence the description "piping" and the species name melodus. During the courtship ritual the male flies in figure-eights and struts, whistles and puffs up its feathers around the female. The female lays four eggs at a time in a small, shallow nest lined with pebbles or broken shells.
The Piping plover historically bred in the Northern Great Plains of the United States and Canada, the Great Lakes beaches, and the Atlantic Coast beaches. Currently, the species' range remains similar to its historic range, except that very few birds remain at any of these sites. For the most part, the Piping plover has begun to retreat northward into Canada and along the northern Great Lakes. The Lake Michigan shoreline in Illinois, Long Point, Ontario, and other habitats in Michigan were also once common habitats for the plover, but it now rarely resides or breeds in these locations. In the fall, the plover migrates south and winters along the Gulf Coast, the southern Atlantic Coast from North Carolina to Florida, and some Carribean Islands. Population estimates of Piping plovers indicate that this species has experienced a serious population decline throughout the United States.
Much of the decline of this ground nesting bird has been caused by human disturbance of its habitat. The plover is extremely sensitive to the presence of people and is easily scared off its nest, which makes it easier for predators (such as gulls, skunks, foxes, dogs, or cats) to attack the nestlings, or for the young to be separated from their parents. Off-road vehicles and recreational activities have destrupted nesting habitat and continues to be a problem for plover reproduction. Along rivers and beachfronts, human interference with natural water flows for development has allowed vegetation to take over riverbanks, making them unsuitable for nesting. There is also some potential for pesticide exposure when plovers are feeding in or near agricultural fields.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has devised a recovery plan that sets a goal of 1,200 breeding pairs, a number suitable for delisting consideration. In order to achieve this goal, the FWS has made efforts to reduce nest disturbance by pedestrians, off-road vehicles, and predators. These include fencing, rerouting off-road vehicles, enforcing pet leash rules, removing litter and removing predators. In addition, an existing public information program is being expanded to alert beach dwellers and recreational users to possible harm they can cause the Piping plover.
Matthews, J.R (ed.), The Official World Wildlife Fund Guide to Endangered Species Vol. II, Beacham Publishing Inc, Washington, DC. pp. 590-593.