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According to the Piping Plover Habitat Conservation Plan, 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 126.96.36.199, p. 3-15).
On an annual basis, we prepare 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, we 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
% of New England Recovery Unit Goal
# Breeding Pairs
(3-Year Rolling Average)1
% of Breeding Pairs
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:
MA Breeding Pairs
(Adjusted Total Count)
Maximum 2016 Exposure to Covered Activities
Actual 2016 Exposure
Massachusetts Habitat Conservation Plan for Piping Plover, 2016 Annual Report
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