LRP - Licenses

LRP - Regulations

LRP - Permits

Recreation - Statewide

Recreation - Trapping

Recreation - Fishing

Recreation - Hunting

Env. Protection - Management

Env. Protection - Emergency

Env. Protection - Resources

To sign up for updates or to access your subscriber preferences, please enter your contact information below.

Rare animals
Find rare and non-game animals.
Rare plants
Learn about plants on the Natural Heritage Working List.
Rare lichens
Discover Wisconsin's lichens.
Natural communities
Explore Wisconsin's natural communities.
Other features
Discover unique resources.
Contact information
For information contact:
Natural Heritage Conservation Program

Piping Plover Critical Habitat Area

Element information


Critical Habitat is a specific geographic area that contains features essential for the conservation of a threatened or endangered species and may require special management considerations or protection. When a species is proposed for listing as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), these areas may be proposed for designation as "critical habitat." Areas that are not currently occupied but are needed for a species recovery may also be included in the designation.

In Wisconsin, 45.3 kilometers of shoreline have been designated as critical habitat for the piping plover. All critical habitat unit boundaries extend 500 meters (1640 feet) inland from the normal high water line, although the inland edge of the area that contains the primary constituent elements may vary depending on the extent of the open dune system. This area is needed to provide foraging habitat as well as incorporate cobble pans between the dunes where piping plovers occasionally nest. For more information, visit the US Fish and Wildlife website.


Piping Plover Critical Habitat Area  [Photo #26108]

Piping Plover Critical Habitat Area

Photo by Sumner Matteson, WDNR.

Piping Plover Critical Habitat Area  [Photo #1777]

Piping plover habitat in upper portions of a Great Lakes Beach. This site is typical of Lake Superior beaches, in that vegetation is entirely lacking. Long Island, Ashland County.

Photo by Eric Epstein, WDNR.

Piping Plover Critical Habitat Area  [Photo #10826]

Photo © Jack Bartholmai.

Last revised: Friday, February 15, 2019