Skip Links

USGS - science for a changing world

Open-File Report 2009–1262

Prepared for the National Park Service

A Review and Synthesis of the Scientific Information Related to the Biology and Management of Species of Special Concern at Cape Hatteras National Seashore, North Carolina

By Jonathan B. Cohen, R. Michael Erwin, John B. French, Jr., Jeffrey L. Marion, and J. Michael Meyers

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (2.56 MB)


The U.S. Geological Survey’s Patuxent Wildlife Research Center (PWRC) conducted a study for the National Park Service (NPS) Southeast Region, Atlanta, GA, and Cape Hatteras National Seashore (CAHA) in North Carolina to review, evaluate, and summarize the available scientific information for selected species of concern at CAHA (piping plovers, sea turtles, seabeach amaranth, American oystercatchers, and colonial waterbirds). This work consisted of reviewing the scientific literature and evaluating the results of studies that examined critical life history stages of each species, and focused on the scientific findings reported that are relevant to the management of these species and their habitats at CAHA. The chapters that follow provide the results of that review separately for each species and present scientifically based options for resource management at CAHA.

Although no new original research or experimental work was conducted, this synthesis of the existing information was peer reviewed by over 15 experts with familiarity with these species. This report does not establish NPS management protocols but does highlight scientific information on the biology of these species to be considered by NPS managers who make resource management decisions at CAHA.

To ensure that the best available information is considered when assessing each species of interest at CAHA, this review included published research as well as practical experience of scientists and wildlife managers who were consulted in 2005. PWRC scientists evaluated the literature, consulted wildlife managers, and produced an initial draft that was sent to experts for scientific review. Revisions based on those comments were incorporated into the document. The final draft of the document was reviewed by NPS personnel to ensure that the description of the recent status and management of these species at CAHA was accurately represented and that the report was consistent with our work agreement. The following section summarizes the biological information relevant to resource management for the species of concern at CAHA.

Posted March 2010

For additional information contact:

U.S. Geological Survey
12100 Beech Forest Road
Laurel, MD 20708

or visit the PWRC Web site at:


Part or all of this report is presented in Portable Document Format (PDF); the latest version of Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view it. Download the latest version of Adobe Reader, free of charge.

Suggested citation:

Cohen, J.B., Erwin, R.M., French, J.B., Jr., Marion, J.L., and Meyers, J.M., 2010, A review and synthesis of the scientific information related to the biology and management of species of special concern at Cape Hatteras National Seashore, North Carolina: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2009–1262, 100 p.


Introduction and Overview
Chapter 1—Management and Protection Protocols for the Threatened Piping Plover on Cape Hatteras National Seashore, North Carolina
Chapter 2—Management, Monitoring, and Protection Protocols for American Oystercatchers at Cape Hatteras National Seashore, North Carolina
Chapter 3—Management, Monitoring, and Protection Protocols for Colonially Nesting Waterbirds at Cape Hatteras National Seashore, North Carolina
Chapter 4—Management and Protection Protocols for Nesting Sea Turtles on Cape Hatteras National Seashore, North Carolina
Chapter 5—Management, Monitoring, and Protection Protocols for Seabeach Amaranth at Cape Hatteras National Seashore, North Carolina

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
[an error occurred while processing this directive] URL:
Page Contact Information: Contact USGS
Page Last Modified: Wednesday, 07-Dec-2016 22:20:45 EST