COVID-19 UPDATE: Volunteering as a Beach Guardian – online orientation

INT is presenting an online seminar to teach volunteers how to be a Beach Guardian during COVID-19


Monitoring and protecting Piping Plovers on PEI beaches since 1995

Spring has finally arrived! And whilst society is on hold, the natural world is inspiring us with messages of resilience. Life goes on regardless and one example of this is with the seasonal return of the valiant piping plover.

It’s been an arduous migration for this little bird and the distances it has traveled are vast. From its winter home in the Bahamas, the plover is coming to our shores to breed. We hope to visit Island beaches mid-April in search of banded birds to see who is back.

As a Guardian you will be tasked with some very important monitoring and data collection of the returning piping plovers. These beautiful birds are facing so many challenges and could do with your help. It’s also a chance to connect with nature during social isolation as this can easily be a ‘solo’ role.

Each spring, Guardians attend an in-class training session. However, with the COVID-19 situation this year it is not possible. Instead we will be providing the presentation via live video stream. We will be scheduling a tutorial session on Thursday, 9th April 2020, for those who are interested.

A guardian is required to choose a beach to monitor, program staff will advise and orient the guardian during the live streaming seminar. Requirements below.


🕖 2PM – 3PM




Piping Plover Coordinator

Vicki is a graduate of Holland College’s Wildlife Conservation Technology program and is passionate about conserving our Island wildlife. Vicki joined the INT team as an intern in 2017. She now works with the Piping Plover program as the program coordinator.


1. Choose a plover nesting beach that you can visit regularly, close to home or work and where plovers may be disturbed by human use.

2. Visit their beach weekly and to keep track of the amount of time spent volunteering over the summer.

3. Report any observations and information that you gather from a beach visit to your Volunteer Coordinator.

4. Watch for plovers outside the marked area, but are not permitted to enter the marked area.

5. Observation should always be done at a distance of at least 50m, using binoculars or a spotting scope.

6. Should be willing to take notes, fill out a simple report form for each visit, have binoculars and their own transportation.

7. Rare emergency situations are reported quickly to an appropriate agency.

Plover Program staff will provide guardians with training materials, identifying clothing (t-shirts), contact phone numbers and email addresses for questions and reports of any significant events, and updates on the population throughout the season.

Learn more about the Piping Plover here in our species at risk section

To register for the live stream or to ask about the PEI Piping Plover Guardian Program

This project was undertaken with the financial support of Environment and Climate Change Canada

Ce projet a été réalisé avec l’appui financier du Environement et Changement Climatique Canada