American Golden-Plover

Pluvialis dominica


Priorities for Future Research

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As climate change advances, the American Golden-Plover will likely face major loss of nesting habitat. Given some alarming predictions (310), monitoring programs and baseline studies are needed to assess the impacts of climate warming on essentially all aspects of this species’ breeding biology. Priorities include efforts to track changes in vegetation on arctic and subarctic nesting grounds, measure the abundance and availability (phenology) of trophic resources, determine the influence of changing conditions on the growth and survival of chicks (326), and estimate annual reproductive success.

Away from the breeding grounds, there are matters awaiting investigation on migration pathways and overwintering grounds. Research on movement ecology is needed to better define important migratory stopover sites and to understand site fidelity on the overwintering grounds. Future advances in GPS technology should obviate the need to recover geolocators and thus simplify such efforts. Based on robust annual survival of adults at breeding sites (estimated from survival modeling), Weiser et al. (264) suggested that “conditions at migratory stopovers or overwintering sites might be driving adult survival rates and should be the focus of future studies.” Because of this species’ reliance on food gleaned from agricultural fields, especially during spring migration, we urge further investigation of field management practices that may benefit stopover migrants (see 60). Given the vast range of the American Golden-Plover, it is extremely difficult to make accurate population estimates. Nonetheless, systematic monitoring should be done wherever possible to determine population sizes and trends, and identify potential threats. Detailed assessments of research needs are available (93), including gaps in knowledge from a South American perspective (182).

Recommended Citation

Johnson, O. W., P. G. Connors, and P. Pyle (2019). American Golden-Plover (Pluvialis dominica), version 3.1. In The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.