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Training

Managing Visitor Use for Snowy Plover Recovery on the Monterey Bay

Managing Visitor Use for Snowy Plover Recovery on the Monterey Bay program image

Date

Wednesday, June 14, 2006
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM


Lunch will be provided

COST: FREE

REGISTRATION FOR THIS PROGRAM IS CLOSED


Instructor Information

Mr. Ryan DiGaudio
Ecologist and California Partners in Flight Coordi
PRBO Conservation Science

Dr. Grey Hayes
CTP Coordinator
Elkhorn Slough Coastal Training Program

Ms. Kriss Neumann
Biologist
PRBO Conservation Science

Contact

Grey Hayes
grey@elkhornslough.org
831-274-8700

Sponsors

PRBO Conservation Science

Description

See also: Managing Visitor Use in Natural Areas, Sustainable Human SystemsVisitors on the lands we set aside for conservation purposes can have profound affects on the natural resources protected at those sites. The Coastal Training Program continues its focus on better planning for visitor impacts by offering a field trip to view and discuss efforts to protect the endangered snowy plover on the Monterey Bay. During the field trip, participants visited two locations where conservationists have focused efforts on protecting the snowy plover. One of the sites was where visitor impacts are quite high (Sunset State Beach) and one of the sites has much lower visitor impacts (Salinas River National Wildlife Refuge). Kriss Neumann and Ryan DiGaudio of Point Reyes Bird Observatory presented information on the history of snowy plover conservation at these sites including data on visitor use and nesting success. At Sunset State Beach, representatives from the California Department of Parks and Recreation presented information on ongoing beach management work that facilitates snowy plover recovery, including signs, predator exclosures, and a dune restoration project that has made it possible for the plovers to use areas of previously un-useable foraging and refuge habitat. Coastal Training Program Coordinator Dr. Grey Hayes moderated the day's discussion so that participants better understood the biology of the species as well as conservation concerns that relate to management of beaches. By the end of the day, participants better understood what we must do in the future to address beach visitor impacts on snowy plovers. For instance, attendees realized the amount of work undertaken yearly by PRBO Conservation Science in order to monitor population patterns and advise land management agencies (especially State Parks and the US Fish and Wildlife Service) on necessary conservation actions. In addition, participants witnessed the success of reducing the numbers of beach entry points in reducing disturbance to plovers. Attendees commented on management tools such as maintaining current entry infrastructure (#parking spaces - Sunset, rough and distant entryways - Salinas River) as ways of controlling visitor use patterns. Scientists and managers noted that visitor compliance to areas with symbolic fencing and signs has increased in recent years, but that unnaturally high predator populations (ravens, skunks, red fox) continue to be a significant factor in snowy plover mortality. The day ended with a brief discussion about long-term planning to maintain areas of less visitor impacts on Monterey Bay area beaches. Participants noted that areas of the Bay are currently little-visited and are the core areas of snowy plover abundance, yet this pattern may not continue with expanding visitor use in the future. And yet, because these lesser-used areas span jurisdictional boundaries, there is no clear mechanism for ensuring regional-scale recovery planning for the snowy plover on the Monterey Bay. Suggestions on proceeding included updating the Snowy Plover Recovery Plan (which is out of date), maintaining zoning in both the Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties General Plans as they are updated, and invigorating the 'recovery unit 4' working group to communicate regional needs to a broader audience of decision makers. It was also clear that more discussion needs to occur on the efficacy of federal vs. local enforcement and planning for the recovery of the Snowy Plover, as the discussion during the trip unveiled several areas of unresolved issues. The Coastal Training Program wishes to thank PRBO Conservation Science and all of the participants in this educational field program. It was a great day!

Documents and Publications

DOCUMENT AUTHOR / SOURCE
WORKSHOP MATERIALS
Agenda: Managing Visitor Use for Snowy Plover Recovery on the Monterey Bay
PDF, 33KB
Elkhorn Slough Coastal Training Program

June 2006
Contact List: Managing Visitor Use for Snowy Plover Recovery on the Monterey Bay
PDF, 19KB
Elkhorn Slough CTP

Potential Recreational Disturbances of Snowy Plover at Two Monterey Bay Sites
PDF, 20KB
Kriss Neumann
PRBO Conservation Science
June 2006
Snowy Plover Natural History and Management Timeline
PDF, 24KB
Kriss Neumann
PRBO Conservation Science
June 12, 2006
Snowy Plover Nest Loss at 2 Monterey Bay Sites in '04 and '05
PDF, 19KB
Kriss Neumann
PRBO Conservation Science
June 2006
Snowy Plover Nesting Locations in the Monterey Bay Region 2004
PDF, 138KB
PRBO Conservation Science

Snowy Plover Productivity at 2 Monterey Bay Sites 2003-2005
PDF, 23KB
Kriss Neumann
PRBO Conservation Science
June 2006
PEER-REVIEWED PUBLICATIONS
Evidence that human disturbance reduces Snowy Plover chick survival
PDF, 119KB
Tamiko D. Ruhlen, Sue Abbott, Lynne E. Stenzel, and Gary W. Page
Journal of Field Ornithology 74(3):300-304
2003
The effect of human activities on migrant shorebirds: successful adaptive management
PDF, 521KB
Joanna Burger, Christian Jeitner, Kathleen Clark, and Lawrence J. Niles
Environmental Conservation 31(4):283-288
2004

Links

Fish and Wildlife's Website on Snowy Plover Status, Planning and Regulatory Documents, links, etc
http://ecos.fws.gov/species_profile/servlet/gov.doi.species_profile.servlets.SpeciesProfile?spcode=B07C

PRBO Snowy Plover Recovery Monterey Bay
http://www.prbo.org/cms/index.php?mid=126

Proposed Special Rule Pursuant to Section 4(d) of the Endangered Species Act for the Pacific Coast Distinct Population Segment of the Western Snowy Plover
http://www.epa.gov/fedrgstr/EPA-SPECIES/2006/April/Day-21/e3793.htm

Status of the Western Snowy Plover in the Monterey Bay Region
http://www.montereybay.noaa.gov/reports/2002/eco/beach.html

Questions and Answers

Submit a question on this subject and we'll provide an answer. info@elkhornsloughctp.org