Understanding the factors contributing to variation in demographic parameters and their influences on population growth is fundamental to effective conservation of small populations, but this information is often not available. Among shorebirds, population growth is generally most sensitive to changes in adult survival so understanding the factors affecting this vital rate is important. We used a long‐term mark–resight dataset and Program MARK to examine the effect of management actions, initiated to improve nesting productivity, on adult survival in a threatened population of Snowy Plovers (Charadrius nivosus) in Oregon, USA. Apparent adult survival averaged 0.71 ± 0.01 (SE), but increased from 1990 to 2014. This increase coincided with a decline in use of protective nest exclosures, but initiation of lethal nest predator management. The unexpected apparent benefit to adult survival of removal of nest predators and the negative effect of protective nest exclosures highlight the importance of understanding how management practices at one life cycle stage may have unintended consequences at other life stages. Our 25‐year analysis adds to our knowledge of an intensively managed, threatened species at the northern limit of its range, but, more importantly, knowledge of the negative effect of exclosure use and the positive effect of predator management on adult survival can help inform conservation of less well‐studied species with similar life histories.