Natural Resources, School of


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Brown, M. B., and J. G. Jorgensen. 2009. 2009 Interior Least Tern and Piping Plover Monitoring, Research, Management, and Outreach Report for the Lower Platte River, Nebraska. Joint report of the Tern and Plover Conservation Partnership, School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, and the Nongame Bird Program, Wildlife Division, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Lincoln, NE.


Copyright © 2009 Mary Bomberger Brown and Joel G. Jorgensen. Used by permission.


This document reports on our monitoring, research, management, and outreach activities during the past 12 months (2009). We prepared it to inform our partners, cooperating agencies, funding sources, and other interested parties of our activities and to provide a preliminary summary of our results.

The Tern and Plover Conservation Partnership (TPCP), based at the University of Nebraska–School of Natural Resources, and the Nongame Bird Program (NBP), based at the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC) work cooperatively on Interior Least Tern and Piping Plover monitoring, research, management, and education-outreach activities. While the proximate focus of our work is the Lower Platte, Loup, and Elkhorn rivers in eastern Nebraska, we address tern and plover issues across the state and region. Our joint program includes terns and plovers nesting at on-river habitats (midstream river sandbars) and off-river or human-created habitats (sand and gravel mines and lakeshore housing developments). The TPCP leads our efforts at off-river habitats; the NBP leads our efforts at on-river habitats.

The report is divided into five sections:

1. Introduction—describes the project area and summarizes conditions encountered during the 2009 field season.

2. Monitoring—describes the data we collect every year for basic demographic analyses and includes the number of nests and chicks found in the focus area. These data are collected and summarized in a form that allows comparison across the ranges of both species.

3. Research—describes details of data collection and the analysis of these data relative to specific research objectives.

4. Management—describes our activities designed to protect Interior Least Terns and Piping Plovers and nests from human and non-human interference.

5. Education-Outreach—describes our efforts to increase public awareness and understanding of Interior Least Terns and Piping Plovers in particular and to promote environmental literacy in general.