San Diego Management & Monitoring Program


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WESTERN SNOWY PLOVER USE OF STATE-MANAGED LANDS IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, 1995 report

Lead author: Abby N. Powell
Western snowy plovers (Charadrius alexandrinus nivosus) were monitored during the breeding and wintering seasons of 1995. Surveys were conducted on lands managed or owned by the State of California, in Orange and San Diego Counties. Of the ten sites monitored for breeding activity, three supported nesting snowy plovers in 1995. Bolsa Chica Lagoon was the only breeding site in Orange County, whereas Silver Strand State Beach and Tijuana Estuary were two of eight known breeding sites in San Diego County. Many of the state lands did not support nesting plovers due to insufficient habitat and heavy recreational use. Both of the San Diego County sites have potential for supporting more snowy plovers given appropriate management actions. In contrast, nine sites on or adjacent to State-managed lands were used by plovers during the wintering months. Wintering plovers may not be affected by recreational beach use, but habitat needs to be protected from future development or habitat alteration.