Effects of Research Activity on Piping Plover Nest Predation
Journal or Book Title
Journal Of Wildlife Management
We examined whether nest monitoring and other research activities influenced rates of red fox (Vulpes vulpes) predation on both natural and artificial piping plover (Charadrius melodus) nests in Massachusetts. The percentage of nests depredated did not differ significantly (P > 0.05) between nests where we trapped and banded incubating adults and nests where we did not trap. Nest predation was significantly lower (P < 0.05) for nests that were monitored from distances of <3 m compared to nests monitored from 3 to 15 m. Foxes did not follow researcher tracks to nests. Close approach and handling of eggs in artificial plover nests did not produce significantly higher (P > 0.05) predation rates compared to artificial nests monitored from a distance. Daily monitoring of piping plover nests is not likely to result in increased fox predation, and it seems to be an acceptable practice; but, nest visits should be conducted in a manner that minimizes disturbance to nesting plovers. Further research should test whether human scent at piping plover nests is a deterrent to red foxes.
MACIVOR, LH; MELVIN, SM; and Griffin, CR, "Effects of Research Activity on Piping Plover Nest Predation" (1990). Journal Of Wildlife Management. 172.