Cheryl Ferguson

2016 International Census Taking Place in Ontario

Cheryl Ferguson Articles, Global News, Local News, Plover Lovers Committee, Port Elgin, Sauble Beach

Hello fellow Piping Plover enthusiast!

Another five years has passed and preparations are underway for the 2016 International Piping Plover Census! Some of you may remember me as the Piping Plover Biologist on Sauble Beach for the past two seasons, my name is Carolyn Hann and this year I am coordinating the Ontario portion of the 2016 International Piping Plover Census. This is a great opportunity to get involved and contribute in the collection of Piping Plover Data around Ontario this year! It is easy to participate and who doesn’t love a day out on the beach! Note: Shorebird identification is required; specifically, the ability to accurately identify Piping Plovers.

The International Piping Plover Census is conducted every five years across North America. The primary function of the breeding census is to gather data for monitoring moderate-to-long-term population trends and to assess success of recovery efforts in meeting recovery objectives. Census data also provides information on the species range and use of local habitat, and connectivity of breeding and wintering regions. Data was recently collected for the winter component of the census.

Dates and guidelines have not yet been released for the 2016 census, however surveys will most likely run the first two weeks of June. As soon as this information becomes available it will be provided to those who are participating. For those who may not have participated in the census in the past, volunteering involves at least one survey (walk on the beach) of suitable habitat (survey locations can be found in the attached spreadsheet) during the census window (usually during the first two weeks of June; however, dates are to be confirmed). In previous years, there has been a detectability component which involves two surveys to be conducted within the census window on a random sample of sites. As guidelines become available this component of the census will become more clear. A package will be sent to those participating that will include guidelines, data sheets, and maps of survey locations.

Those who volunteer will be responsible for getting to the site within the survey period (approximately first two weeks of June – dates are to be released shortly), completing surveys in a safe manner, following guidelines provided, and filling out the  data sheet provided and returning it to the coordinator.

A list of available survey locations is available but cannot be attached to this site. If you are interested in volunteering, please email me to obtain a copy of the available locations. Sites will be filled on a first come, first serve basis. If you know anyone else who might be interested in helping out please feel free to share this information with them. 

Your  participation is greatly appreciated. Piping Plover activity in Ontario was pretty exciting last season and I anticipate this season will be just as exciting!

If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact me. I look forward to hearing from you,

Carolyn Hann

Ontario Coordinator – International Piping Plover Census

Phone: 902-312-1052


PS: Thank you to the Stewardship Grey Bruce Piping Plover Committee for forwarding this communication to the many people who have expressed an interest in following the recovery efforts for the Piping Plover.