LEADBETTER POINT, Wash. — A tiny shorebird that nearly went extinct is making a comeback thanks to a $150 million habitat- restoration effort.
The Longview Daily News reports officials in Washington counted a record high 67 western snowy plovers in their last count in January. Oregon and Washington together, which are counted as a single recovery unit by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, had more than 250 breeding pairs this year.
Researchers found 28 nests on the Long Beach Peninsula this year compared to 10 last year.
A biologist for the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge cautions to not plan a celebration yet, because numbers fluctuate over time.
But wildlife officials say the work to improve about 250 acres of the plovers’ habitat has also helped other species, including elk, deer, raptors and a type of flowering plant that has not been seen in this state in 60 years.
Fish and Wildlife plans to add an additional 200 acres to that amount over the next 10 years.