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Maritimes Piping Plover Conservation Program

What We Do

Monitoring beaches

Each spring provides new challenges and opportunities as returning Piping Plovers find suitable nesting habitat. Staff, volunteers, and partners conduct regular beach surveys to locate breeding pairs and monitor plover breeding success. Surveys also contribute to our understanding of threats, and help guide recovery activities.

Protecting nesting habitat, chicks, and fledglings

Breeding failure can result from human activities as well as predation and flooding. To protect breeding plovers, we set up signs around sensitive nesting habitats. On busy beaches, rope fencing prevents trampling of nests and reduces disturbances.

Increasing stewardship

Promoting best practices on beaches helps ensure positive outcomes for Piping Plovers and other beach-dwelling wildlife. Our stewardship and partnerships work toward sustainable use of beaches, recognizing ecosystem integrity, biodiversity needs, recreational use, and other community values. The majority of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick's coastal land is privately owned, and landowners play an essential role in habitat protection. When Piping Plovers are found on private lands, we work with landowners on collaborative approaches to protecting sensitive nesting habitat. We also engage students, beachgoers, municipalities, community groups, and agencies in managing, enhancing, and conserving habitat.

Key stewardship messages include:

  • respect signs and signed areas marking sensitive nesting habitat
  • use designated access points
  • keep motorized vehicles away
  • keep pets leashed
  • take trash out.

Supporting Recovery

We support scientific research into population trends, including Environment and Climate Change Canada's five-year banding program to understand adult and juvenile survival and identify key plover migration and wintering sites. Results from monitoring and protection efforts inform species recovery planners, beach management decision-makers, and the public.

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