Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Letitia Reichart

Committee Members

Dustin H Ranklack, Andrew Little


camera, piping plover, Platte River, predation


Nest predation is a major cause of failed shorebird reproduction. Management to increase reproductive success and survival of nesting interior least terns (Sterna antillarum athalassos; hereafter, least tern), and piping plovers (Charadrius melodus) that nest along the Central Platte River focuses on constructing and managing off-channel nesting habitats that are protected and monitored for least tern and piping plover productivity (i.e., nesting success and fledging success). However, nest and brood fates of unknown outcome, failed to unknown causes, or failed due to predation have been high for both species. These uncertainties lead to the investigation of avian and mammalian predator presence and mode of access at off-channel nesting sites along the Central Platte River in Nebraska. In chapter 2, we investigated the effectiveness of a predator exclusion method, called a panel wing system, where we determined probabilities of approaches and breaches of predator panel wings present on nesting peninsulas. In chapter 3, we investigated the predator communities on least tern and piping plover nesting peninsulas. The results of these studies will help determine which management techniques are the most effective and possible new management techniques that could be implemented in the future to help reduce predator related issues and increase the success of least terns and piping plovers.

Included in

Biology Commons



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