About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Record numbers of two Michigan endangered species

Press Release Sept. 2015 Contact: Keith Kintigh,

Two Michigan endangered species are being observed in record numbers this year, due to the collaborative conservation efforts of the Department of Natural Resources and many partners.

“We’re really excited about the survey results for the Great Lakes piping plover and Kirtland’s warbler,” said DNR Field Operations Manager Keith Kintigh. “To have both of these species reach record numbers this year shows what great partnerships can do for wildlife conservation over time.”
Piping Plover: The Great Lakes piping plover, a Michigan Endangered Species that lives near shorelines and beaches, is making a comeback thanks to collaborative conservation efforts
Piping plovers are migratory shorebirds that nest in three distinct populations in the northern United States and Canada and winter mainly along the Gulf Coast. In the Great Lakes, they live near shorelines and beaches and will nest in depressions of sand with rocks, shells or sticks, which can be easily disturbed by beach-goers. To protect their young, they often will distract perceived predators with a “broken-wing” act.

In 1983, there were only 13 breeding pairs of Great Lakes piping plovers in Michigan. This year, more than 158 chicks have been banded in Michigan, Wisconsin and Canada, with more than 58 nests found in Michigan alone. Of the 58 Michigan nests, 43 were in the northern Lower Peninsula and 15 in the Upper Peninsula. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore had the highest occurrence of nests in the region.
Kirtland’s Warbler: Record numbers of the endangered Kirtland’s warbler – the rarest wood warbler in North America, found in northern Michigan in the spring and summer – have been seen this year!
The Kirtland’s warbler is among the rarest wood warblers in North America. It nests mainly in young jack pine forests on public lands and winters in the Bahamas. In 1974 and 1987, the lowest survey numbers of Kirtland’s warblers were recorded, with only 167 singing males found.

In 2015, biologists, researchers and volunteers observed 2,365 singing males during the official survey period.

To learn more about the Great Lakes piping plover and Kirtland’s warbler, visit Michigan.gov/wildlife.

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