PORTLAND, Maine - Endangered piping plovers have fledged 165 chicks so far this summer for a new record in Maine.
The Maine Audubon reports that the number of chicks represents a 29% increase over last year. And it follows a 30% increase last year.
Laura Minich Zitsk, director of Maine's Piping Plover Project, tells the Portland Press Herald that the number of nesting pairs is "incredible.'' The most recent state tally found 89 nesting pairs of piping plovers on Maine beaches. That's up from 68 last year.
Henry Jones of the Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Department said the gains were aided by work by federal, state and local agencies over the past decade. The shorebird has been on the federal endangered species list since 1986.