TitleThe spatial and temporal distribution of piping plovers in New Jersey, 1987-2007
NameKisiel, Christina (author), Burger, Ph.D, Joanna (chair), Lockwood, Ph.D, Julie (co-chair), Lathrop, Jr., Ph.D, Richard (co-chair), Jenkins, Jr., C. (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
SubjectEcology and Evolution,
Piping plover--New Jersey,
Piping plover--Nests--New Jersey
DescriptionThe Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus melodus) is a small shorebird that nests along the Atlantic coast beaches of New Jersey. The combination of habitat degradation and human disturbance caused a precipitous population decline during the last century. It was listed as state endangered in 1984 and federally threatened in 1986. New Jersey biologists have taken protective measures, such as fencing nesting sites and restricting human activities in sensitive areas, in an attempt to increase the population. Despite these intense efforts, Piping Plover pair numbers are not recovering in New Jersey. The objective of this research was to create a spatial representation of all nesting areas, and pair use at those sites, utilized in New Jersey from 1987-2007 to better understand site selection of breeding Piping Plovers. Analysis of this information indicated that the plovers showed a strong preference for selecting nesting areas near inlets, particularly those that were not shored with jetties or other stabilization features. Beach replenishments, however, did not appear to significantly attract or deter nesting birds to or from sites. Nest fate and reproductive success were found to be fairly consistent throughout the state (for the factors tested) and the rates were lower than what was necessary to sustain and grow the population. Since there are a limited number of unshored inlet areas left in New Jersey, it is imperative that large-scale restoration efforts and more aggressive management techniques (i.e., widespread predator control) are implemented to initiate recovery of the Piping Plover in this state.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references (p. 62-63)
Noteby Christina Lin Kisiel
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.