Western snowy plovers are small shorebirds that live and breed on the sandy beaches and dunes of the Pacific coast. Listed as a federally threatened species since 1993, their numbers are in decline because of habitat loss and degradation. Human use of their beach habitat and the resulting increase in predators and nonnative species threaten the survival of this species.
Parks in the San Francisco Bay Area Network actively protect plover nest sites and restore habitat. The snowy plover recovery program uses volunteers and educational materials to reach thousands of visitors each year. During breeding season, park docents monitor and keep beachgoers away from nesting sites. Parks are also working to restore coastal dune habitat by removing nonnative plants, providing expanded nesting and breeding habitat.