Adult Snowy Plovers are about 6 inches in length with a wingspread of 13-14 inches. Very light color with a thin black bill, black mark behind each eye and over forecrown, dark legs and feet, and black slash mark on each side of the lower throat. The Snowy Plover prefers open salt flats, beaches and bars of rivers, and wetlands. In Kansas, this plover is a regular but uncommon migrant and summer resident. Nesting occurs in scattered locations in central and southwestern Kansas where open salt flats or sandy areas near water occur.
Snowy Plovers may occur occasionally anywhere in the state where habitat is suitable. With the exception of Reno and Rice, the marked counties are those for which observation records are known.
Snowy Plovers are protected by the Kansas Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation Act and administrative regulations applicable thereto. Any time an eligible project is proposed that will impact the species’ preferred habitats within its probable range, the project sponsor must contact the Ecological Services Section, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, 512 SE 25th Ave., Pratt, Kansas 67124-8174. Department personnel can then advise the project sponsor on permit requirements.DESIGNATED CRITICAL HABITATS
As defined by Kansas Administrative Regulations, critical habitats include those areas documented as currently supporting self-sustaining population(s) of any threatened or endangered species of wildlife as well as those areas determined by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism to be essential for the conservation of any threatened or endangered species of wildlife.
Currently, the following areas are designated critical for Snowy Plovers:
(1) All wetlands within Quivira National Wildlife Refuge in Reno, Rice and Stafford counties.
(2) All lands and waters within the current active channel of those reaches of the Cimarron River within Clark, Comanche and Meade counties.