Date of Original Version
This paper presents preliminary work on two potential management techniques that might enhance populations of Snowy Plovers (Charadrius alexandrines). Large tracts of suitable plover nesting habitat are being degraded by vegetation encroachment at Great Sale Lake, Utah. Therefore, we used impoundment drawdown to create shorebird nesting habitat by eliminating unwanted vegetation at a diked wetland. Twenty-two pairs of Snowy Plovers, four pairs of American Avocets (Recurvirosta Americana), and one pair of Long-billed Curlew (Numenius americanus) nested in a 12-ha drawdown impoundment. Also, some apparently suitable nesting macrohabitants (sparsely vegetation salt flats) were not used by breeding plovers. We thought increasing the availability of potential nest-site microhabitants in these suitable macrohabitants might increase their use. We placed 1-m2 gravel pads on selected barren salt flats at Great Salt Lake, and Snowy Plovers readily used these artificial substrates; 50% of 32 small-grained structures were used for building scrapes and three structures had clutches initiated on them. These strategies represent potential management techniques that should be field tested by land managers to determine their effectiveness to enhance Snowy Plover populations.
Paton, P.W C., and V.C. Bachman.(1996). Impoundment drawdown and artificial nest structures as management strategies for Snowy Plovers. International Wader Studies, 9, 64-70.