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 J. Edwards

Third Advisor

Dr. Robert I. Lonard


The breeding biology of Snowy Plovers (Charadrius alexanderinus) was studied at Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge in coastal southern Texas. During 1995 and 1996 nests were found most often in high sand flat habitat and less frequently in low sand flat. Nest sites were dominated by open flat but had more rocks, pebbles and debris than control sites. Only 24% of the clutches hatched, while 67% were eaten by predators and 9% were flooded. Forty-three percent of Snowy Plover nests were within Least Tern (Sterna antillarum) colonies and these nests had a significantly greater chance of hatching than nests placed elsewhere. Radio telemetry and color-banding revealed that broods, like nests, were found only with high and low sand flat habitat. However, broods occurred in areas with significantly more vegetative cover and less open flat than nest sites. No other Snowy Plover study has described this habitat change. The mean brood area was 3.8 ha and broods moved an average of 84 m/day. Chick daily survival rate was estimated to be 0.951 during the brood-rearing (prefledge) period.


Copyright 1997 Corinna Elizabeth Rupert. All Rights Reserved.

Granting Institution

University of Texas-Pan American