By 2009, human encroachment, habitat loss, destruction and other threats had reduced the entire North American population of American Oystercatchers to around 10,200 individuals.
Our research team works to increase this number by coordinating the American Oystercatcher Working Group, which implements rangewide research and management efforts that promote the conservation of American Oystercatchers and their habitats. Manomet supports participating organizations with fundraising, coordinates the monitoring that serves as the common success measure for the initiative, and conducts research on factors limiting Oystercatcher populations. We currently manage and monitor nearly 400 nesting pairs of oystercatcher in the Northeast.
Our key strategies respond directly to the issues raised in the Business Plan for the Conservation of the American Oystercatcher, and include:
- Predation and disturbance management
- Coordinated monitoring through regular partner feedback and communication to implement management strategies and measure success
- Habitat restoration by working with local partners to evaluate the greatest impacts on oystercatcher habitat and developing recommendations to employ modification and restoration strategies
- Reduce knowledge gaps through the collection, analysis, and coastwide implementation of mark-resight data, which allow us to monitor key life history characteristics of oystercatchers including recruitment, survivorship, and dispersal in response to management activities.
These strategies, along with the collaboration of our team partners, will lead to a larger, more robust breeding population of oystercatchers on the Atlantic coast.