Captive-rearing piping plovers: Developing techniques to augment wild populations

Abby N. Powell, Francesca J. Cuthbert, Lauren C. Wemmer, Alice W. Doolittle, Shane T. Feirer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Techniques for captive-rearing and releasing piping plovers (Charadrius melodus) were developed using a surrogate species, killdeer (Charadrius vociferus). We compared captive-and parent-reared killdeer, and parent-reared piping plovers and determined that growth and behavior were similar. After surrogate trials determined that captive-rearing was feasible, we used the same methods to raise piping plover chicks from salvaged eggs. For captive-reared chick of both species, survival to fledging was higher than and behaviors similar to parent-reared chicks in the wild. Rearing techniques were fine-tuned, and ten piping plover fledglings were released to the wild. Based on our results, we developed recommendations for captive-rearing piping plovers using salvaged eggs to enhance productivity of small populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)461-477
Number of pages17
JournalZoo Biology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 1997


  • Charadrius melodus
  • Charadrius vociferus
  • Endangered species
  • Killdeer
  • Piping plovers
  • Reintroduction
  • Surrogate species

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