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USGS releases iPlover app for shorebird biologists

A new smartphone application funded by the North Atlantic LCC will help coordinate data collection and improve management of piping plover throughout its Atlantic range.

An innovative tool designed by and for scientists to help manage the threatened piping plover - a small shorebird that depends on open coastal beaches to breed and raise its young – is now just a download away: The new iPlover mobile application will coordinate data collection and monitoring for piping plover throughout the species' Atlantic range.

The app was developed by the U.S. Geological Survey with funding from the North Atlantic LCC, which is coordinating a suite of Hurricane Sandy Resilience Projects to connect the dots between sea level rise, system response, habitat impact and species response. iPlover is one product of the effort to integrate monitoring, modeling and tools to increase resilience of beach habitats and species in the face of climate change.

The conservation and recovery of piping plover has been mandated by the Endangered Species Act since it was added to the Endangered Species List in 1986. Although the species has recovered from near extinction over the past three decades, plovers are still at risk: Recent estimates place the population at fewer than 2000 pairs, and climate change has introduced new threats to their coastal habitat.  

Managing dynamic coastal landscapes for beach-dependent species like the piping plover requires collecting data on environmental conditions in a wide range of coastal habitats, as well as data on the birds themselves. iPlover provides an invaluable tool for biologists with a lot of ground to cover in the mission to save this species.

Read the full story on the USGS website. 

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