We assessed habitat characteristics and measured daily survival rate of 72 nests of Charadrius wilsonia (Wilson's Plover) during 2012 and 2013 on South Island and Sand Island on the central coast of South Carolina. At both study areas, nest sites were located at slightly higher elevations (i.e., small platforms of sand) relative to randomly selected nearby unused sites, and nests at each study area also appeared to be situated to enhance crypsis and/or vigilance. Daily survival rate (DSR) of nests ranged from 0.969 to 0.988 among study sites and years, and the probability of nest survival ranged from 0.405 to 0.764. Flooding and predation were the most common causes of nest failure at both sites. At South Island, DSR was most strongly related to maximum tide height, which suggests that flooding and overwash may be common causes of nest loss for Wilson's Plovers at these study sites. The difference in model results between the 2 nearby study sites may be partially due to more-frequent flooding at Sand Island because of some underlying yet unmeasured physiographic feature. Remaining data gaps for the species include regional assessments of nest and chick survival and habitat requirements during chick rearing.
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Vol. 16 • No. 2