Snowy Plover Protection Zone at Crown Beach

March 7, 2024

March is the beginning of breeding season for the tiny western snowy plover, listed as a federally threatened species and a California species of special concern. Snowy plovers winter at Robert Crown Memorial State Beach in Alameda, usually arriving mid-October and leaving sometime in March or April.

For the past six years, Park District staff and volunteers have established a Plover Protection Zone by installing seasonal fencing and educational signage around the plovers’ roosting area. This “symbolic fencing” protects the birds from disturbances by humans and dogs, and provides them with a safe area to fatten up on kelp flies, beach hoppers, and other insects and small invertebrates that are washed up on the beach as they begin breeding. The symbolic fencing and signage installed at Crown Beach has been a successful effort, leading to a nearly ten-fold increase in wintering western snowy plovers!

Learn more about becoming a Wildlife Volunteer and help protect threatened shorebirds.

Western snowy plover in Crown Beach's Plover Protection Zone