Plover Partners

Helping the recovery of a threatened species takes cooperation from a lot of different groups! The Western Snowy Plover Working Group is a mix of state and federal agencies that are working together to aid plovers in Oregon and Washington (Recovery Unit 1, according to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service). These plover partners, in conjunction with the public, have helped bring the Unit 1 population back from a low of 35 breeding adults in 1992 to 231 in 2012. Here is a nifty graphic to give you a visual of what that means:

This is what the Unit 1 western snowy plover coastal population looked like in 1992 and 2012

This is what the Unit 1 western snowy plover coastal population looked like in 1992 and 2012 – Image by Laura Todd, USFWS

 

What does the Working Team do? 

Managing anything on the Ocean Shore is a complicated process as different agency jurisdictions overlap with both public and private ownerships. OPRD, with the task of managing the entire Ocean Shore, works with land owners on many issues ranging from revetments and protection of structures from erosion to sensitive species conservation. When it comes to western snowy plover, sharing the challenges to help conserve the species is paramount.

 

Overlapping jurisdictions on the Ocean Shore are based on who the upland land owner is, and changing boundaries such as the vegetation line and median high tide line.

Overlapping jurisdictions on the Ocean Shore are based on who the upland land owner is, and changing boundaries such as the vegetation line and median high tide line.

The Working Team works together throughout the year to maximize limited funds and staff to accomplish the most important tasks to aid the recovery of the plover. The Working Team assesses every breeding season to look for solutions to the problems for that particular year and for long-term population stability and growth, and then forms a strategy to enact those solutions. We often leverage funds and share the load to help each other and make the most of every dollar spent. Habitat enhancement and restoration, predator management, and disturbance management are tasks that always need attention, with public outreach and enforcement mixed in for good measure. In truth, public outreach is incredibly important, because without public support this would be a losing battle. Learn more about how you can help here:

 

While the Working Group guides management actions, the success of the western snowy plover is ultimatley in the hands of the public

 

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