Western Snowy Plover Conservation
The Western Snowy Plover is a Federally Threatened species found on Los Angeles County beaches. They are small, sand-colored birds that sit in foot prints and tire tracks along the wrackline and mid-beach areas. Relying on camouflage to evade predators, they usually go unnoticed by beachgoers and beach drivers. Zuma, Malibu Lagoon, Santa Monica, Dockweiler, and Hermosa Beach host the largest flocks of Western Snowy Plovers in Los Angeles County.
Snowy Plovers are typically found aggregated in loose flocks, and they tend to use the same beaches year to year for their traditional roost sites. Protective enclosures for the species can be found at Malibu Lagoon (seasonally), Santa Monica, and Dockweiler North (LG Tower 47).
Volunteers have been surveying Los Angeles County beaches as part of the Snowy Plover Monitoring Program since 2007, gathering data on wintering plovers and those that might attempt to breed in the spring. These effort are in partnership with Santa Monica Bay Audubon Society, South Bay/Palos Verdes Audubon, Ryan Ecological Consulting, and Plegadis LLC, and thanks to funding from US Fish & Wildlife Service, Audubon California, California Department of Fish & Wildlife, Pasadena Audubon, Explore the Coast, the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, and many generous donors.
Resources for Beach Managers
We've developed a brief, two-sided info sheet for beach drivers that provides information and maps about where plovers occur on Los Angeles County beaches. We also recommend checking out the Beach Ecology Coalition’s website for more best management protocol documents.
Snowy Plover Volunteers
If you’re interested in participating in our program as a volunteer, contact our Endangered Species Volunteer Coordinator, Stacey Vigallon, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or give her a call at (323) 481-4037.
We welcome new volunteers on a continuous basis, so please contact the volunteer coordinator for details about upcoming training sessions.
Los Angeles Audubon teamed up with the Dorsey High School Film Production Program to create a public service announcement about the Western Snowy Plover in Los Angeles County. We are pleased to report that since the making of the film, plovers have successfully nested in Los Angeles County. The short film can be viewed at our YouTube channel.
Proposed Snowy Plover Protection Zones
The links below allow access to maps of proposed Special Protection Zones at major Snowy Plover roost sites on Los Angeles and Orange County beaches. The large black polygons on the maps represent the protection zone boundaries, and the smaller multi-colored polygons represent Snowy Plover roost locations over multiple years.
A wealth of information about our local plovers can be found in the numerous reports produced through this project (PDFs)