GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) For the second year in a row, the Western snowy plover has had a strong nesting season on Oregon beaches, in large part due to wildlife managers killing the foxes, crows and ravens that eat the threatened birds' eggs and young.
This year the adult population of about 140 plovers in Oregon produced 107 young that survived long enough to learn to fly known as fledglings compared to 60 in 2003 and an average of 37 since monitoring began in 1990, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Dave Lauten, a research biologist with the Oregon Natural Heritage Information Center in Bandon who monitors plovers said habitat improvements and protecting birds from harassment by people were also factors.
But killing predators, which started in earnest in 2002, ''is the most substantial newer management action that's happened in the last three years,'' Lauten said.
The improving outlook for plovers comes as Oregon works on a management plan that could restrict access to as much as 25 percent of the state's beaches to various activities during the spring and summer nesting season. The Parks and Recreation Commission meets Dec. 16 to adopt a draft management plan, which will serve as the basis for an environmental impact statement.
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