Department of Fisheries and Wildlife

Shorebird habitat use and ecology on Camp Lejeune, North Carolina

Background and Rationale

The Marine Corps base at Camp Lejeune North Carolina is a key training base.  It is particularly important for amphibious-landing training as it is one of the few places in the United States available for this purpose.  The base would like to conduct its operations in an ecosystem-friendly-manner, consistent with the primary base mission.  To help achieve this goal, the Department of Defense implemented a large scale ecosystem study on the base with numerous cooperators from many universities.  This project is part of the coastal Barrier module of the larger project.

Project People

Kacy Ray
M.S. student

Kacy Ray

Jim Fraser

Sarah Karpanty

Back to Top

Project Photos

Click the image to see a larger version.

Back to Top

Project Goals

  1. Describe the shorebird community on MCBCL.
  2. Describe Wilsonís plover population demographics.
  3. Describe foraging and nesting habitat of the Wilsonís plover.
  4. Examine the distribution and abundance of Wilsonís plovers and prey availability.
  5. Describe the predator community of MCBCL and evaluate potential effects on Wilsonís plover population demographics.
  6. Relate shorebird and predator communities, as well as Wilsonís plover population demographics to levels of human use on the barrier island.

Back to Top

Preliminary Findings

(2008, Ray, Karpanty and Fraser, in prep)

  • 38 Wilson’s plovers were banded representing 18 pairs (20 adults, 18 chicks).
  • 20 nests were found
  •   2 depredated by mice, 1 by raccoons.
  • Broods moved distances of 0.14 km to 1.82 km from their nest site to their final foraging territory (fiddler crab flats, Figures 8 and 9).
  • Potential predatorsidentified on the area included Gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), feral cat (Felis domesticus), Bobcat  (Lynx rufus), opossum (Didelphis virginiana) and Raccoon (Procyon lotor), white-tailed
  • Most shorebirds were seen in or near an old overwash at the south end of Onlsow Island
  • The Wilson’s plover disproportionately nested and foraged mostly in and near the old overwash.


Back to Top

Back to Jim's main page