Snowy Plover Webinar
Western snowy plovers, a threatened species, are year-round residents of the Oregon coast—the only shorebird that nests in Oregon. A very small but growing population nests on open sandy beaches. Public agencies (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, U.S. Forest Service) and non-profits have worked for decades to restore the population, which is threatened by loss of habitat as beaches narrow due to sea level rise and invasive beachgrass, and to human intrusion on the high beach where it nests. Thanks to cooperative management on some of our beaches, where nesting areas are identified and roped off from the public, there is hope that their numbers will increase to the point that the population becomes healthy and stable, but progress is fragile.
On August 4 at 6 p.m, CoastWatch and Portland Audubon are hosting a webinar on snowy plovers and how we can help. We will talk with snowy plover experts about the breadth and depth of snowy plover activity from Fort Stevens to the southern coast. We will discuss the North Coast Plover Patrol program and the bird’s return to new areas of the north coast. We will also learn about research specifically in Oregon on the snowy plovers.
This webinar will be moderated by CoastWatch Volunteer Coordinator Jesse Jones, and will include a panel of those who work and volunteer for snowy plovers on the north, central and southern Oregon coasts. Among the speakers is Dr. Eleanor P. Gaines, Director and Zoologist for the Oregon Biodiversity Information Center and Institute for Natural Resources at Portland State University; she has coordinated snowy plover monitoring along the central and southern Oregon coast for many years, and her PhD research examined the effects of management on Oregon’s Snowy Plover productivity and population growth.
Other panelists include Cynthia Burns, Siuslaw National Forest’s coordinator for the Western snowy plover recovery program; Cheryl Strong, lead western snowy plover biologist for Oregon; and Allison Anholt, Coastal Community Science Biologist at Portland Audubon.