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Endangered piping plovers face new predator in Northern Michigan

Flickr User Rita Wiskowski

Piping plovers have a new challenge this season.

The endangered bird faces a new predator.

Snowy owls are eating plovers in northern Lake Michigan, including in Sleeping Bear Dunes.

Piping plovers are a critically endangered species, with fewer than 80 nesting pairs in the Great Lakes.

Vince Cavalieri is the piping plover coordinator for the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

He says this is the first time they have seen snowy owls preying on piping plovers.

“It’s a very rare, rare bird with a lot of threats. So… I’m always -- always worried about them.”

Cavalieri says they don’t know why snowy owls are this far south this late in the season.