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The Michigan Piping Plover

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Michigan Environmental Education Curriculum
Coastal Dune Ecosystem

ENDANGERED SPECIE: Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus)

Piping Plover, MI

The Piping Plover's color makes it difficult to see on the sand and pebble beach; however, its distinct call makes it easy to locate.

Plovers have been located in Michigan in the Eastern Upper Peninsula and Northern Lower Michigan along the coasts. In recent years as few as 15 breeding pairs of Piping Plovers have been identified in Michigan. This Michigan and Federal Endangered Specie requires coastal dunes for habitat and breeding grounds. Pebbled beaches are the preferred habitat where the plover can scrape a small depression in the sand and pebbles near the foredune. Plovers winter on the Gulf and Atlantic coasts.

The young leave the nest only hours after hatching, but remain under the parents care. The chicks are fully fledged after three or four weeks.

Piping Plover Eggs, MI

Piping Plover Chicks, MI

Chicks under parental care.

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