Thursday, June 15, 2023

Game Commission: Good News And Bad News About Piping Plovers At Presque Isle State Park

If you have been following the exciting story of Pennsylvania's
piping plovers, our rarest nesting shorebird and one of the most critically endangered species globally, nesting at Presque Isle State Park in Erie, then you know about the four-egg nest that was recently protected.

Sadly, the trailblazing mail (BYO), who put Pennsylvania back on the map for plover recovery, went missing.  

The female (YYV), then nested with a different male (BYO’s grandson OLL), but also went missing.

When this happens, we suspect they have been taken by predators.

The good news: The Game Commission salvaged the eggs from both nests so they can hatch under the expert care of Detroit Zoo zookeepers at the University of Michigan Biological Station Piping Plover Captive Rearing facility.

Adults share incubation duties, so these eggs would not have survived without intervention.  The chicks will be released back into the wild once they can fly.

All four of BYO and YYV’s eggs hatched in captivity and are doing well.

We are hoping the same for the four YYV/OLL eggs.

More good news:  The Erie Bird Observatory located another potential pair.  Pennsylvania could possibly see a record four nests this year!

Follow the Erie Bird Observatory Facebook page for the latest on this dramatic season.

At 8 years old, BYO had exceeded the average piping plover life span (5-6 years) and fledged 19 chicks over five breeding seasons with different mates, including a female who colonized an Ohio site that had been without plovers for more than 80 years!

BYO and YYV will be missed, but they certainly did their part to advance the species.

As a reminder, the entire Gull Point Natural Area beach at Presque Isle State Park is closed to public access to give plovers, and other birds, plenty of space to rest and raise their young.

Thank you for helping shorebirds!

Conserving these globally rare birds doesn’t happen without joining forces.

Great thanks to the Pennsylvania piping plover recovery team:  DCNR State Parks - Presque Isle State Park; Erie Bird Observatory; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region; US Army Corps of Engineers - Buffalo District; Western Pennsylvania Conservancy; PA Natural Heritage Program; and the Great Lakes Piping Plover Recovery Effort.

Learn more plover information and ways to help by visiting the Game Commission’s Piping Plover webpage and the Great Lakes Piping Plovers website.

Related Articles:

-- Volunteers Needed!  Falcon Watch & Rescue Rachel Carson Building Harrisburg  [PaEN]

-- Audubon Mid-Atlantic Healthy Forest Initiative: July 19 Webinar - Opportunities For Strategic Forest Conservation Partnerships With Land Trusts  [PaEN]

[Posted: June 15, 2023]  PA Environment Digest

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