Piping plovers were first documented nesting on Long Island in the Apostle Islands in 1974, and one to two pairs continued to nest on Long Island through 1983. Then, after an absence of 15 years that coincided with a regional collapse of the population, a rebound started in 1998, but with no more than one pair recorded nesting in the Apostle Islands most years until 2006.
Coinciding with a regional resurgence of the population, breeding numbers in the Apostles began to increase. From 2006 to 2020, three to six pairs of piping plovers have nested in the Apostle Islands, with pairs fanning out to two additional islands as high water levels and severe storms have eroded available breeding habitat on Long Island.
Partnerships with tribal, state, and federal officials have been key to monitoring piping plovers in the islands.
Sumner Matteson, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources