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Piping Plovers and Sea-level Rise

Forecast Effects of Accelerating Sea-level Rise on the Habitat of Atlantic Coast Piping Plovers and Identify Responsive Conservation Strategies

This collaborative project provided biologists and managers along the Atlantic coast with tools to predict effects of accelerating sea-level rise on the distribution of piping plover breeding habitat, test those predictions, and feed results back into the modeling framework to improve predictive capabilities. Immediate model results will be used to inform a coast-wide assessment of threats from sea-level rise and related habitat conservation recommendations that can be implemented by land managers and inform recommendations to regulators. Case studies incorporating resilience of piping plover habitat into management plans for specific locations demonstrate potential applications.

This collaborative project of the North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative provided biologists and managers along the Atlantic coast with tools to predict effects of accelerating sea-level rise on the distribution of piping plover breeding habitat, test those predictions, and feed results back into the modeling framework to improve predictive capabilities. Immediate model results were used to inform a coast-wide assessment of threats from sea-level rise and related habitat conservation recommendations that can be implemented by land managers and inform recommendations to regulators. Case studies incorporating explicit measures to preserve resilience of piping plover habitat to sea level rise into management plans for specific locations demonstrate potential applications.

LCC Staff Contact: Megan Tyrrell

In January 2015, the final report of this project was submitted to the LCC and is posted below.

The coupled plover and coastal change models have been completed and in 2014 an article on this work was published in Ecological Modelling. A second component of this project focused on how varied conservation actions may impact patterns of Piping Plover habitat use and habitat change. Results of the first year of the project were presented in a Jan. 2012 webinar.

The geographic scope of this project is being extended as part of the North Atlantic LCC project 'Increasing Resiliency of Beach Habitats and Species in the Face of Storms and Sea Level Rise.'

Presentations & Posters

Webinar: Effects of Sea Level Rise and Altered Storminess on Piping Plover Breeding Habitat Along the U.S. Atlantic Coast

Webinar: Forecasting the effects of sea-level rise on nesting habitat of Piping Plover

Karpanty, S.M., Catlin, D., Fraser, J.D., and Cohen, J.  Incorporating piping plover habitat ecology into a sea-level rise decision support model.  Sea-level rise hazards and decision support meeting.  National Conservation Training Center, 13 October 2010, Shepherdstown, WV.

Gieder, K., Karpanty, S., Fraser, J., Catlin, D., Thieler, R., Plan, N., and Gutierrez, B.  2011.  Effects of sea-level rise and altered storminess on Piping Plover habitat along the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf Coasts (Poster).  Waterbirds Society Annual Meeting, November, Annapolis, MD.

Karpanty, S., Gieder, K., Fraser, J., Catlin, D., Thieler, R., Plan, N., and Gutierrez, B.  2011.  Effects of sea-level rise and altered storminess on Piping Plover habitat along the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf Coasts (Presentation).  Atlantic Coast Piping Plover Recovery Workshop, January, National Conservation Training Center, Shepherdstown, WV.

NALCC Funding:   $203,352

Other Funding :   $200,000

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