The high-elevation population of Mountain Plovers in Colorado

The Condor
By: , and 



We surveyed a discrete population of Mountain Plovers (Charadrius montanus) in South Park, Park County, Colorado, to determine the size and relative contribution of this geographically isolated area to the global population of plovers. First, we mapped potential plover habitat within South Park based on landform and vegetation descriptors. Second, we identified occupied habitat using observations from a systematic inventory of potential habitat from 1995–1999 and from a study of breeding biology from 2000–2002. Third, we estimated breeding densities within a framework designed specifically for distance sampling. We mapped 82 750 ha of potential habitat. We recorded 2516 plover locations from which we estimated 29 176 ha of occupied habitat. We estimated densities for 14 960 ha of potential habitat. Average plover density from 2000–2002 was 7.9 ± 0.9 (SE) breeding adults km−2, a high value compared with other sites. We calculated a population of 1187 ± 140 (SE) plovers in the distance sampling area. Assuming density in our sampling area was similar for all documented occupied habitat, we estimated the population of plovers in South Park at 2310 adults. We conclude that South Park represents a contemporarily large concentration of breeding Mountain Plovers.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title The high-elevation population of Mountain Plovers in Colorado
Series title The Condor
DOI 10.1650/7316
Volume 105
Issue 4
Year Published 2003
Language English
Publisher Cooper Ornithological Society
Contributing office(s) Fort Collins Science Center
Description 9 p.
First page 654
Last page 662
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