Date of this Version
Brown, M. B., L. R. Dinan, and J. G. Jorgensen. 2015. 2015 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.
This document reports on our monitoring, research, management, and outreach activities during the past 12 months (2014–2015). 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 lower Platte River and its major tributaries provide important nesting and migratory stopover habitat for two bird species of special conservation concern: the state and federally endangered Interior Least Tern (Sternula antillarum athalassos) and threatened Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus). The Tern and Plover Conservation Partnership (TPCP), based at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln School of Natural Resources, and Nongame Bird Program (NBP), based at the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC), work cooperatively on tern and plover monitoring, research, management, and outreach activities in Nebraska. The TPCP and NBP focus monitoring and research efforts along the Lower Platte, Loup, and Elkhorn rivers in the eastern part of the state. We also work on tern and plover issues across the state, including Lake McConaughy, and the region.
The report is divided into five sections:
1. Introduction—describes the project area and summarizes conditions encountered during the 2015 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 our research objectives, research methods, data collection, and data analyses.
4. Management—describes our actions intended to protect Interior Least Terns and Piping Plovers and their nests from interference and disturbance.
5. Outreach—describes our efforts to increase public awareness and understanding of Interior Least Terns and Piping Plovers and to promote environmental literacy.