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Data from Adult piping plover habitat selection varies by behavior

posted on 2021-10-12, 22:50 authored by Samantha Robinson, Henrietta Bellman, Katie Walker, Daniel CatlinDaniel Catlin, Sarah KarpantySarah Karpanty, Shannon Ritter, James FraserJames Fraser

These data are used piping plover locations, and random locations, dispersed throughout Fire Island and Westhampton Island, breeding sites for piping plover. We recorded individual locations of birds with coordinate geometry by first recording an observer’s location using a Trimble GPS unit (Trimble Geospatial, Sunnyvale, CA, USA), and offsetting that location with an azimuth from a compass and a distance from a Nikon 8397 Aculon Laser Rangefinder (Nikon, Minato, Tokyo, Japan; Robinson et al. 2020a). Each piping plover location has an associated behavior, and we assigned a behavior to each adult based on observed behavior at first encounter and later classified all behaviors into two categories: parental and non-parental. Parental behaviors included incubating nests, broken wing displays, defensive peeping, and brooding or attending to chicks, whereas non-parental behaviors included foraging, aggression, territorial, roosting, loafing, and courtship. Each location also has a variety of continuous landscape variables associated with it, at multiple scales. Scales were defined by analyzing adult movement patterns, and each landscape variable was ranked with univariate resource selection models to determine the scale that best represented piping plover habitat selection. We then summarized each variable within a circle with the radius of the best fit scale, and used that in a habitat selection model.


This project was funded by money provided by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under the Fire Island to Moriches Inlet Biological Opinion, and by Virginia Tech



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  • English (US)


These data were collected on a 27-km stretch of Fire Island and Westhampton Island, New York. The study area consisted of Fire Island National Seashore, Smith Point and Cupsogue Beach County Parks, and Robert Moses State Park.

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