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Western Snowy Plover

Seasonal Beach Restrictions

Oregon’s beaches are protected nesting grounds for a small shorebird called the western snowy plover. During nesting season (March 15 – Sep. 15), some recreation activities may be restricted or prohibited in designated plover management areas:

  • No dogs (even on a leash), vehicles, bikes, kites or drones on these beaches – including the entire dune area and the wet sand, which can be far from signs.
  • No camping or beach fires.
  • If you are walking or riding your horse, stay on the wet sand.
  • Please plan an alternate route to the beach rather than walk through the areas being groomed to attract plovers or where plovers may already be nesting. The north coast and south coast maps can help you plan your trip.
Thanks in part to your diligence in respecting these restrictions, plover populations are rebounding! Learn more here.

​Key identifying features include:

  • Small shorebird, sparrow sized
  • Short dark bill
  • Incomplete neck band
  • Dark grey to black legs
  • Many have leg bands

Photo of western snowy plover adult

​Dogs are still welcome at most times and places on Oregon’s beaches. Please check out the north and south coast plover maps before planning a trip with your dog and watch for signs when you are heading out to the beach. More information about visiting parks and beaches with your dog can be found on our Pawsitive Oregon State Parks page.​

Western snowy plover signage

​Signs will help indicate you are in a plover management area. Note that restrictions apply to the entire dune and beach area, even though signs may be high in the dry sand. That’s so they don’t wash away at high tide. Please check out the maps before planning a beach visit during the spring and summer.

diamond shaped sign showing seasonally prohibited activities

​Do you think you may have found a snowy plover nest outside a plover management area in Oregon (i.e., on a coastal beach not listed on the map)? Please keep your distance, nesting plovers are easily disturbed. After checking out the maps, if the beach you visited isn't already part of a snowy plover management area, please contact Laurel Hillmann (see contacts listed on this page).​

western snowy plover chick next to an unhatched egg


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