San Diego Management & Monitoring Program

Recovery Plan for the Pacific Coast Population of the Western Snowy Plover

Type: other

Article abstract: CURRENT SPECIES STATUS: The Pacific coast population of the western snowy plover (Charadrius alexandrinus nivosus) (western snowy plover) is federally listed as threatened. The current Pacific coast breeding population extends from Damon Point, Washington, south to Bahia Magdalena, Baja California, Mexico (including both Pacific and Gulf of California coasts). The western snowy plover winters mainly in coastal areas from southern Washington to Central America. HABITAT REQUIREMENTS AND LIMITING FACTORS: The Pacific coast population of the western snowy plover breeds primarily above the high tide line on coastal beaches, sand spits, dune-backed beaches, sparsely-vegetated dunes, beaches at creek and river mouths, and salt pans at lagoons and estuaries. Less common nesting habitats include bluff-backed beaches, dredged material disposal sites, salt pond levees, dry salt ponds, and river bars. In winter, western snowy plovers are found on many of the beaches used for nesting as well as on beaches where they do not nest, in man-made salt ponds, and on estuarine sand and mud flats. Habitat degradation caused by human disturbance, urban development, introduced beachgrass (Ammophila spp.), and expanding predator populations have resulted in a decline in active nesting areas and in the size of the breeding and wintering populations. RECOVERY OBJECTIVE: The primary objective of this recovery plan is to remove the Pacific coast population of the western snowy plover from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants by: (1) increasing population numbers distributed across the range of the Pacific coast population of the western snowy plover; (2) conducting intensive ongoing management for the species and its habitat and developing mechanisms to ensure management in perpetuity; and (3) monitoring western snowy plover populations and threats to determine success of recovery actions and refine management actions. RECOVERY PRIORITY: 3C, per criteria published by Federal Register Notice (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1983). RECOVERY CRITERIA: The Pacific coast population of the western snowy plover will be considered for delisting when the following criteria have been met: 1. An average of 3,000 breeding adults has been maintained for 10 years, distributed among 6 recovery units as follows: Washington and Oregon, 250 breeding adults; Del Norte to Mendocino Counties, California, 150 breeding adults; San Francisco Bay, California, 500 breedin

Number of pages: 290

Authors: Hornaday, Kelly; Pisani, Ina; Warne, Betty; Pratt, Ruth;

Day: 13

Month: August

Year: 2007

Prepared by: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Hornaday, Kelly; Pisani, Ina; Pratt, Ruth; Warne, Betty;

Keywords: federally listed as threatened; recovery; western snowy plover;

Species: Western snowy plover