Piping Plover

pipplo
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Each map is a visual guide to where a particular bird species may find the climate conditions it needs to survive in the future. We call this the bird’s “climatic range.”

The colors indicate the season in which the bird may find suitable conditions— blue for winter, yellow for summer (breeding), and green for where they overlap (indicating their presence year-round).

The darker the shaded area, the more likely it is the bird species will find suitable climate conditions to survive there.

 

The outline of the approximate current range for each season remains fixed in each frame, allowing you to compare how the range will expand, contract, or shift in the future.

 

The first frame of the animation shows where the bird can find a suitable climate today (based on data from 2000). The next three frames predict where this bird’s suitable climate may shift in the future—one frame each for 2020, 2050, and 2080.

You can play or pause the animation with the orange button in the lower left, or select an individual frame to study by clicking on its year.

Climate Endangered

Piping Plover

The darker the color, the more favorable the climate conditions are for survival. The outlined areas represent approximate current range for each season. More on reading these maps.

The darker the color, the more favorable the climate conditions are for survival. The outlined areas represent approximate current range for each season.

More on reading these maps.
Winter
Summer

Winter Range
Summer Range
Both Seasons
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Focal Species
nebirdsplus/Flickr Creative Commons
Cool Facts

This shorebird nests in a scrape—a shallow hole lined with pebbles.

The male scratches several scrapes, and the female selects one.

The female lays four eggs, one every other day.

A pair will only raise one brood of chicks per breeding season, although a female may lay multiple clutches if the nest is destroyed.

Chicks can forage for food only an hour or two after they have hatched.


This iconic shorebird is projected to lose more than 29 percent of non-breeding range by 2080, with only 38 percent of its original summer range remaining, according to Audubon’s climate model. Coastal areas of Texas, Louisiana, and the Bahamas will become increasingly suitable, even as other areas decrease. Climatic suitability along the Atlantic shoreline is projected to move north in the winter, overlapping with breeding range.  However, sea level rise is likely to become a critical issue for this coastal-dependent species in both summer and winter seasons.

 

Are the projected range maps different from the range maps in field guides? Find the answer here.

Species Range Change from 2000 to 2080

The size of the circles roughly indicates the species’ range size in 2000 (left) and 2080 (right).

The amount of overlap between the 2000 circle and the 2080 circle indicates how stable the range will be geographically. Lots of overlap means the bird’s range doesn’t shift much. No overlap means the species will leave its current range entirely.

About This Bird

This pale little shorebird, colored for camouflage against dry sand, breeds on Atlantic Coast beaches and on open lake shores and river sandbars of the northern Great Plains. For the winter, it retires to warmer climates of the southern Atlantic and Gulf coasts, as far south as Florida, the Bahamas, and extreme northern Mexico. Like other members of the plover family, it seeks its food visually, running a few paces and then stopping to pick up an item with its short bill. Along the coast, its varied diet includes many small crustaceans, marine worms, and insects, but in the inland portion of its range, insects make up the bulk of its diet.

Cool Facts

This shorebird nests in a scrape—a shallow hole lined with pebbles.

The male scratches several scrapes, and the female selects one.

The female lays four eggs, one every other day.

A pair will only raise one brood of chicks per breeding season, although a female may lay multiple clutches if the nest is destroyed.

Chicks can forage for food only an hour or two after they have hatched.


Birds at Risk

Explore more birds threatened by climate change around the country.

Allen's Hummingbird
Baird's Sparrow
Bald Eagle
Brown Pelican
Burrowing Owl
Cerulean Warbler
Common Loon
Eastern Whip-poor-will
Golden Eagle
Greater Sage-Grouse
Hooded Oriole
Mississippi Kite
Northern Shoveler
Osprey
Piping Plover
Ruffed Grouse
Rufous Hummingbird
Spotted Owl
Tundra Swan
White-throated Sparrow
Yellow-billed Magpie