|Title||Can captive rearing increase the endangered Great Lakes Piping Plover population?|
|Publication Type||Conference Proceedings|
|Year of Conference||1995|
|Conference Name||Restoration: Reality or Delusion, 57th Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference|
|Date Published||December 5, 1995|
|Conference Location||Detroit, MI|
Since placement on the Endangered Species List in 1986, the Great Lakes population of the Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus) has remained low with between 12 and 21 nesting pairs each year. Significant changes will need to occur in the reproductive output and/or survivorship of the Great Lakes Piping Plover if the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Recovery Plan goal of 150 breeding pairs is to be met. To examine the effects of different recovery strategies on the Great Lakes population, I used a Pascal program which stochastically models population change through an annual time-step. I ran modeling experiments to examine population trends of the Great Lakes Piping Plover with no intervention and then with two different strategies of egg removal, artificial incubation, and captive rearing. In the first intervention strategy, entire clutches were removed from a portion of the nests with the expectation that some nesting pairs would renest after clutch removal. In the second strategy, single eggs were removed from a portion of the nests. Renesting was not expected for pairs with a single egg removed. Results indicate that both strategies of intervention have the potential to bring about greater increases in the breeding population than does the approach of no intervention. Entire-clutch removal has the potential to bring about a greater increases over a shorter period of time than does single-egg removal, but also resulted in more drastic population declines in more replicates of the model than did the single-egg removal strategy.