The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced on Tuesday that two endangered species of birds, the piping plover and the Kirtland’s warbler, have been observed in record numbers in the state this year, which the DNR attributes to conservation efforts enacted with the help of partners.
Piping plovers, known for adopting a ‘broken-wing’ act to distract predators from their young, have recovered from a 1983 low of just 13 breeding pairs in the Great Lakes area. This year, more 58 nests were found in Michigan and more than 158 chicks were banded. Biologists, researchers and volunteers documented 2,365 singing male Kirtland’s warblers, which as recently as 1974 and 1987 were recorded in numbers as low as 167.
“We’re really excited about the survey results for the Great Lakes piping plover and Kirtland’s warbler,” DNR Field Operations Manager Keith Kintigh said. “To have both of these species reach record numbers this year shows what great partnerships can do for wildlife conservation over time.”
The DNR’s conservation efforts on the two species has been aided by numerous partners, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, University of Minnesota, National Park Service Sleeping Bear Dunes and Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, U.S. Forest Service, Michigan Department of Military Affairs and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, among many others.