Beachgoers: Piping plovers nesting along the shore of Hampton and Seabrook

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CONCORD, New Hampshire — Beachgoers are being reminded that six pairs of piping plovers nesting along the sandy shores of Hampton and Seabrook, New Hampshire, are an endangered species in the state.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department says the birds' breeding habitat is fenced with yellow roping to indicate their presence — allowing them space to nest and raise their young.

"We have had occasional incidents where people have deliberately vandalized fencing meant to protect the birds and even stolen eggs right out of the nest," said Brendan Clifford, a biologist with the Fish and Game's Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program who oversees the piping plover protection effort. "We are continuing to educate people in hopes of minimizing instances of human disturbance."

The department is working closely again this year with beach managers to coordinate beach raking and plover protection.

Since protection efforts began in 1997, and through 2014, 89 nesting pairs of plovers have fledged 115 chicks on New Hampshire's seacoast. The state's efforts are part of a region-wide protection program. Overall, the Atlantic coast population of piping plovers continues to hold steady.

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