Least Tern and Western Snowy Plover Habitat Enhancement
To provide habitat enhancement at Naval Air Station North Island and Naval Base Coronado for the endangered California least tern (Sternula antillarum browni) and threatened western snowy plover (Charadrius nivosus nivosus) by establishing an alternative site for nesting.
KMEA’s strategy was to improve the nesting habitat by the management of weedy vegetative cover and sand within the colonies. The project was performed on a tight schedule to mobilize equipment to remove vegetation before the bird breeding season. KMEA prepared a Work Plan, an Accident Prevention Plan, and a Health and Safety Plan. Field tasks included grubbing and removal of vegetation and other organic debris, such as sand, from the alternative site; mechanical methods such as the use of small tractors and manual raking to manage weed growth; offsite disposal of vegetation; and herbicide application to control vegetation and promote nesting habitat. Removal of vegetation was conducted prior to and after the completion of the breeding season.
The team successfully provided habitat enhancement for the two endangered species by establishing an alternative site for tern and plover nesting. Additional sites, for which the alternative site served as a model, were added to the contract to continue the same type of effort for the benefit of the tern and plover.