Snowy Plovers

pacifica-snowy-ploverWestern Snowy Plover Education Resources

Western Snowy Plovers make their home on Pacifica’s beaches. During this time they fatten up on rich protein diet of kelp flies, beach hoppers, other insects and small invertebrates washed up on the beach, and occasionally in the back dunes. When not foraging, snowy plovers nestle down in the sand, low enough to be warmed by radiant heat and still have a view out to the sea. Their primary defense is sitting still and blending in. The Western Snowy Plover winter roosting population at Pacifica State Beach has declined by 75% over the last 12 years. This ‘little’ shorebird is protected as a threatened species under the federal Endangered Species Act, and is listed as a Bird Species of Special Concern in California. Its declining population nests adjacent to tidal waters of the Pacific Ocean and breeds primarily above the high tide line on our beaches. The primary cause of decline is habitat loss, degradation, and increased disturbance along the increasingly rare coastal beach-dune ecosystem habitats designated as critical habitat by the US Fish & Wildlife Service. Protecting and preserving this unique habitat is essential to its survival and recovery.

Blogs about Protecting Snowy Plovers: