In February 2014, Audubon New York’s Long Island Bird Conservation (LIBC) Coordinator returned from a very successful two-week wintering Piping Plover survey in the Bahamas.
Throughout the winter, teams of biologists from Audubon and the Bahamas National Trust searched five different Bahamian islands for wintering Piping Plovers and other shorebirds. The LIBC Coordinator had the opportunity to work alongside staff from Audubon North Carolina, Audubon Florida, and the Bahamas National trust on Andros and Long Island. During their surveys, they identified Piping Plovers that had been banded in New Jersey!
The Bahamas has been recognized as an important wintering area for Piping Plover and other shorebirds. In 2011, Audubon documented over 1,000 wintering Piping Plovers in the Bahamas (many of which are likely Atlantic Coast breeders), and decided to return in 2014 to continue and expand the surveys.
NYS supports 20% of the Piping Plover population, which is considered an endangered species. Supporting Piping Plovers throughout their lifecycle is a priority for Audubon New York and the surveys and hands-on work will continue until they have overcome their endangered status. Success of this effort will be based on population growth, hatchling success, and habitat protection. Efforts in those areas continue.
Read our Be A Good Egg Blog to learn more about the discoveries made on this trip and the role it will play in continued conservation of this endangered species.