According to the Piping Plover Habitat Conservation Plan  pdf format of Piping Plover Habitat Conservation Plan
file size 5MB, the number of piping plover broods, nests, or territories that may be exposed to covered activities in a given season is calculated based on the three-year rolling average of the Massachusetts Piping Plover breeding population size (HCP, Section 3.3.2.1, p. 3-15).

On an annual basis, MassWildlife prepares a Census Report documenting the number of pairs of Piping Plover breeding in Massachusetts.  After allowing at least 21 days for the public to review the newest annual report, MassWildlife determines the number of exposures to covered activities that will be allowed during the following season.

Table 3‑1 from the HCP (Page 3-16). Statewide Limits on Maximum Number of Broods of Chicks, Nests, and Territories to be Exposed to Covered Activities and Potential Take

MA Breeding Population Size

Prior 3–Year Average

Maximum Exposure to Take

% of New England Recovery Unit Goal

# Breeding Pairs

(3-Year Rolling Average)1

% of Breeding Pairs

# Nests/Broods/Territories2

≥105

>655

7

453 +

100–104

625–655

6

37–39

95–99

594–624

5

29–31

90–94

563–593

4

22–23

85–89

532–562

2

10–11

80–84

500–531

1

5

<80

<5004

0

0

1 Adjusted total count (see Chapter 4 for additional details)

2 Includes temporary reduction in available nesting habitat due to reduced proactive fencing.

3 This is 7% of the # breeding pairs for all values >655, rounded down to the nearest whole number.  For example if the three-year average population size is 725 pairs, then this value would be 50.

4 All thresholds are based on the 3-year rolling average with the exception of this one. For any year in which that year’s breeding population size drops below 500 pairs, no take authorizations will be permitted the following year, regardless of the 3-year average.

Calculation of allowable exposure to covered activities, 2016:

 

YEAR

 

2013

2014

2015

MA Breeding Pairs

(Adjusted Total Count)

666

663

687

Three-year average:

 

672

 

Maximum 2016 Exposure to Covered Activities

47 broods/nests/territories

Actual 2016 Exposure

3 broods/nests/territories