Charadrius montanus: Montane, grassland, or bare-ground plover?

The Auk
By:  and 



The Mountain Plover (Charadrius montanus) is an aridland member of the Charadriidae. This plover is generally considered an associate of the North American shortgrass prairie, which is dominated by blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis) and buffalo grass (Buchloe dactyloides; Graul 1975). The species breeds at many locations across the western Great Plains plus at isolated locales in western Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico (Leachman and Osmundson 1990) and recently in eastern Utah (K.S. Day pers.comm.). Continental populations of the Mountain Plover declined 63% from 1966 to 1991 (Knopf 1994), with the historic and current breeding stronghold being the Pawnee National Grassland in Weld County, Colorado (Graul and Webster 1976). Currently, a second major breeding population of Mountain Plovers is on the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge, Phillips County, Montana. Unlike when found on the grassland landscape of Weld County, Mountain Plovers in Phillips County selectively nest in prairie dog (Cynomys spp.) towns (Knowles et al., 1982, Olson and Edge 1985) in vegetative settings that include prickly pear (Opunitia polyacantha), fringed sagewort (Arteminisia frigida), big sagebrush (A. tridentata), western wheatgrass (Agropyron smithii), and blue grama, Collectively, Weld and Phillips counties provide nesting habitat for approximately one-half of the continental population of Mountain Plovers,

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Charadrius montanus: Montane, grassland, or bare-ground plover?
Series title The Auk
DOI 10.2307/4088620
Volume 111
Issue 2
Year Published 1994
Language English
Publisher American Ornithological Society
Description 3 p.
First page 504
Last page 506
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page