Oconee Rivers Audubon Society president, Lauren Gingerella, will discuss her work developing a conservation strategy for Wilson’s Plovers when the Oconee Rivers Audubon Society holds its next meeting. The group will meet March 6 at 7 p.m. at Sandy Creek Nature Center.

Wilson’s Plovers are listed as a “Species of High Concern” on the U.S. Shorebird Conservation Plan. Predators limit the success of their nests, leading to a decrease in the number of chicks produced each year, organizers state.

Gingerella conducted an experiment to determine how well nest exclosures work to increase the number of nests that successfully hatch. She found that exclosures were successful at preventing mammal and bird predators from eating eggs or destroying nests. However, ghost crabs were still able to get in, suggesting some modifications to the exclosure design could help fully protect nests.

Gingerella is a native Rhode Islander, and received a bachelor of science in wildlife and conservation biology from the University of Rhode Island. She worked a variety of avian-focused research and management jobs before landing on Little St. Simon's Island, where she worked as naturalist and ecological coordinator. Little St. Simon's was also the site of her master of science work, through the University of Georgia, where she studied Wilson’s Plovers. Lauren currently works as a wildlife biologist for North American Land Trust, and serves as the President of the Oconee Rivers Audubon Society.

The meeting will be held in the Nature Center’s Education and Visitor Center, 205 Old Commerce Rd. off U.S. Highway 441 north of Athens.

For more information, visit www.oconeeriversaudubon.org, or contact Audubon chapter President Lauren Gingerella at president@oconeeriversaudubon.org or Publicity Chair Paige Howell at publicity@oconeeriversaudubon.org.


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