Theses and Dissertations - UTB/UTPA

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Dr. Timothy Brush

Second Advisor

Dr. Robert I. Lonard

Third Advisor

Dr. Frank W. Judd


The Piping Plover, Charadrius melodus, is endangered in its breeding sites and threatened in its wintering sites. This migratory shorebird spends 3 to 4 months on northern U.S. and southern Canadian breeding sites and the remainder of the year in Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, and southern U.S. wintering sites. Up to 2.4% of the estimated Piping Plover population remains for the 9 to 10 month non-breeding season on South Padre Island (S.P.I.). During the non-breeding season, I conducted censuses at 15 sites in the southern portion of South Padre Island to determine Piping Plover habitat preferences. Piping Plovers prefer bay side flats as opposed to beach areas on South Padre Island, and habitat use is determined by conditions such as exposure and wetness of bay side habitats. Piping Plovers tend to forage in habitats close to the Laguna Madre, such as mud flats and roost farther away on the sand flats.


Copyright 1997 Humberto Garza Jr. All Rights Reserved.

Granting Institution

University of Texas-Pan American