New York Natural Heritage Program
Piping Plover
Charadrius melodus Ord, 1824
Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus) Gene Nieminnen
Family: Lapwings and Plovers (Charadriidae)

State Protection: Endangered
A native species in imminent danger of extirpation or extinction in New York (includes any species listed as federally Endangered by the United States). It is illegal to take, import, transport, possess, or sell an animal listed as Endangered, or its parts, without a permit from NYSDEC. 1) Any native species in imminent danger of extirpation or extinction in New York. 2) Any species listed as endangered by the United States Department of the Interior.

Federal Protection: Endangered And Threatened
Federally listed as Endangered in portions of New York and as Threatened in other portions of New York.

State Rarity Rank: S3B
A State Rarity Rank of S3B means: Typically 21 to 100 breeding occurrences or limited breeding acreage in New York State.

Global Rarity Rank: G3
A Global Rarity Rank of G3 means: Either rare and local throughout its range (21 to 100 occurrences), or found locally (even abundantly at some of its locations) in a restricted range (e.g. a physiographic region), or vulnerable to extinction throughout its range because of other factors.

Did you know?
Piping Plovers nest on open sand beaches and are susceptible to human distrubance and mortality from beach driving. Young plover chicks typically move large distances to and from the nest soon after hatching to forage. They may hide in vehicle tracks along beaches and have trouble getting out of them. Because they are so well-camoflouged they are in danger of being run over.

State Ranking Justification [-]
Piping Plovers are federally listed as endangered in the Great Lakes and as threatened on the Atlantic coast. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has listed this species as endangered in the state. Without vigorous protection and management efforts, reproductive success of piping plovers in New York State would be very low. Protection of nests and eggs from predators and disturbance has been successful at stabilizing numbers. The population has gone from 187 pairs in 1992 to 437 pairs in 2009 (Gibbons pers. comm.). However, juvenile recruitment may be low, stemming from high predation rates on juveniles and poor food availability due to habitat loss and degradation. Predation coupled with limited habitat and human disturbance are major factors that would inhibit populations from rebounding without protection.

Short-term Trends [-]

Long-term Trends [-]