FLORENCE, Ore. (AP) -- Scientists say a threatened West Coast shorebird, the western snowy plover, has had a successful breeding season in Oregon.
So far, a record 154 chicks have survived long enough to learn to fly this year.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spokeswoman Janet Lebson tells The Oregonian that the season could yield about 200 such fledglings. The previous high in 2007 was 124, but that number dropped to 73 in 2008.
Lebson says when the birds were listed as threatened in 1993, there were only 35 plovers in Oregon. Now there are about 150 to 175 adults -- close to scientists' recovery goal of 200.
Federal and state agencies began working on a recovery plan in the 1990s. For more than a decade, biologists in California, Oregon and Washington have fenced off nesting areas and posted them off-limits for seven months of the year when plovers are present.
Information from: The Oregonian, http://www.oregonlive.com