Community Helps Name Endangered Plover

The NEW Zoo & Adventure Park is delighted to announce we recently hosted a naming contest for a special member of the federally endangered Great Lakes population of Piping Plovers. This 1-year-old male, initially known as “Green Dot” due to the identification marker within his color leg band combination, hatched on Cat Island in Green Bay last year. We are thrilled to confirm his survival through the challenging migration season, as he was recently spotted at Chicago’s Montrose Beach where he has captivated birding enthusiasts.

During the naming contest, over 160 zoo guests participated in the vote over Memorial Day weekend, and the name “Pippin” emerged as the winner! This name honors the historic Zippin Pippin roller coaster at Bay Beach Amusement Park, visible from Cat Island’s nesting site. Additionally, the name shares a phonetic connection with Scottie Pippen of Chicago Bulls fame, bridging a link to Chicago. Pip, a beloved penguin at the NEW Zoo, has also given his seal of approval to the chosen name!

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Audubon Great Lakes, and numerous other conservation partners collaborate to ensure the survival of the Great Lakes population of Piping Plovers. The team of partners has been monitoring the plovers at Cat Island since nesting began in 2016 and first monitored Pippin from the time he hatched on May 29 from the first nest of the 2023 season in the Great Lakes, which tied for the earliest nest on record in the Great Lakes, until July 5 when he departed Cat Island for his fall migration.

The Great Lakes population is protected under the Endangered Species Act, with the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative supporting population monitoring and habitat restoration for Piping Plovers. The NEW Zoo & Adventure Park plays a crucial role by providing emergency care for distressed plovers and educating the community about this remarkable bird native to our shorelines.  We invite the public to join in celebrating Pippin and to learn more about the ongoing efforts to protect and conserve the Great Lakes Piping Plovers. Visit us to see how you can contribute to preserving this incredible species.


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