Piping plover habitat use and reproductive success in North Dakota

E. P. Gaines, M. R. Ryan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


For Charadrius melodus beach width within territories was greater than at unoccupied areas. There was no difference in the amount of vegetative cover on territories versus unoccupied areas, but vegetation had a more clumped distribution on territories, resulting in large areas of unvegetated beach. Gravel was more abundant and more evenly distributed on territories. Nest success was greater on territories with little vegetative cover and on territories with highly clumped vegetation. Nests on gravel were more likely to hatch than those on alkali substrate. Territories with evidence of cattle or motor vehicle disturbance had a lower nest success rate. Predation was the greatest threat to nest successes. There were 1.48 and 1.04 chicks fledged/breeding female in 1984 and 1985, respectively. Likely factors limiting the population were nest predation and habitat availability. Piping plover reproductive success may be insufficient to maintain a stable population in the N Great Plains. Management to reduce nest depredation and create or improve nesting habitat is needed. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)266-273
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Wildlife Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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