Piping plovers are a threatened species that rely on prairie
wetlands and, like the interior least tern, need natural river
flows to replenish the sandbars where they nest. The species
have such similar nesting requirements, in fact, that often
several plover pairs will settle down in the middle of a crowd
of least terns, depending on the swarms of noisy terns to
chase off any predators. Plovers forage for small insects
on bare sandbars and wetland shores. The restoration of the
Missouri River's pattern of high water in the spring and lower
levels during the summer is vital for the plover's survival.
Federally threatened, state endangered.