Title page for ETD etd-09052009-040402
|Type of Document
||Loegering, John P.
||Piping plover breeding biology, foraging ecology and behavior on Assateague Island National Seashore, Maryland
||Master of Science
||Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences
|Fraser, James D.
|Adkisson, Curtis S.
|Kirkpatrick, Roy L.
|Date of Defense
We studied piping plovers (Charadrius melodus Ord) on Assateague Island National
Seashore, Maryland, during the 1988-1990 breeding seasons. The estimated
breeding population declined from 25 pairs in 1988 to 14 pairs in 1990. Nest predation
by red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) was high. Predator exclosures constructed arou nd
individual nests did not increase nest survival. Chick survival was higher in bay
beach and island interior brood-rearing habitats than on the ocean beach. Our
evidence supports the hypothesis that the availability of adequate food is driving the
differences in survival observed among brood-rearing habitats. Chicks raised on the
bay beach or island interior weighed more, had higher foraging rates, and spent a
greater proportion of their time foraging than chicks reared on the ocean beach.
Indices of invertebrate prey abundance indicated that insects were more abundant
on the bay beach and island interior than on the ocean beach. Disturbance did not
differ among brood-rearing habitats. Human disturbance was higher in 1990 than in
previous years. Overall productivity was 0.71 chicks fledged/breeding pair, well
below our estimate of the productivity needed to deter a population decline.
Management efforts should focus on reducing nest predation and maintaining
overwash access paths to high quality brood-rearing habitat.
|| Approximate Download Time
| 28.8 Modem
|| 56K Modem
|| ISDN (64 Kb)
|| ISDN (128 Kb)
|| Higher-speed Access
next to an author's name indicates that all
files or directories associated with their ETD
are accessible from the Virginia Tech campus network only.
If you have questions or technical
problems, please Contact DLA.