Western Snowy Plover

Photo Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service


  • Species Common Name Western Snowy Plover
  • Species Scientific Name Charadrius nivosus nivosus
  • Federal Listing Status Threatened (Pacific Coast population)
  • State Listing Status Threatened


Special needs

Western Snowy Plovers use sandy and sparsely-vegetated shoreline above the high tide line for nesting. They prefer sandy beaches with intertidal areas for foraging (Coast Range, Nearshore ecoregions). Interior-breeding birds utilize alkaline flats and salt pans associated with springs, seeps, or lake edges (Northern Basin and Range ecoregion).

Limiting factors

Snowy Plovers need suitable habitat free from introduced European beach grass and with few ground or avian predators. Human disturbance is a major limitation to breeding success outside the currently protected areas.

Conservation actions

Main recovery actions include habitat restoration, European beach grass removal, predator control, and disturbance management.

Key reference or plan

Recovery Plan for the Pacific Coast Population of the Western Snowy Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus nivosus)