Why are we interested in Interior Least Terns and Piping Plovers?

Interior Least Tern and Piping Plover populations have declined due to:

  • broad-scale alteration of natural river systems
  • loss of midstream river nesting habitat
  • loss of overwintering habitat
  • hunting for the restaurant and millinery trades in the late 1800s and early 1900s

Amount of midstream river sandbar nesting habitat has been reduced by

  • invasive plant species
  • construction of dams and reservoirs
  • river channelization
  • bank stabilization
  • island armoring
  • hydropower generation
  • water diversion

Threats to overwintering habitat for both species include

  • sea level rise
  • global climate change
  • residential, industrial, and commercial development

May through August is Tern and Plover Field Season

Annual Report

Download the 2023 Annual Report