Great Lakes Piping Plover Recovery Effort

A partnership to study and conserve this migratory shorebird's endangered population between UMN, USFWS, USGS, NPS, DNR, more & You!

Nest Exclosures

A "mini" exclosure. The dimensions are approximately 3x3x1 feet. There is an adult plover directly in front of this exclosure. --This picture demonstrates how hard it is to see both the birds, the nest, and the mini.

A “mini” exclosure. The dimensions are approximately 3x3x1 feet. There is an adult plover directly in front of this exclosure. –This picture demonstrates how hard it is to see both the birds, the nest, and the mini.

Nest exclosures have increased the breeding success of GLPIPL dramatically. These “mini” or “mid” sized wire cages that are put over a GLPIPL nest reduce the predation rate significantly. The spacing of the cage is large enough for an adult PIPL to escape but small enough that the paw of a fox or the arm of a raccoon can’t get to the eggs.

Unfortunately, once the chicks hatch the cage is no longer useful. The chicks are precocial which means that within a couple hours of hatching, they fluff up and are running around feeding themselves. The small depression in the sand that acted as a nest cup for the eggs is no longer useful…or big enough for all the chicks.

A "mid-sized." This exclosure has dimensions of approximately 4x4x4 feet. The top is covered with netting to prevent other birds from disturbing the plovers.

A “mid-sized.” This exclosure has dimensions of approximately 4x4x4 feet. The top is covered with netting to prevent other birds from disturbing the plovers.

A clutch of eggs in a scrape (nest) as seen thru a mid-sized.

A clutch of eggs in a scrape (nest) as seen thru a mid-sized.

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