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"Ample evidence" that Cape Hatteras beach closures benefit birds

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The barrier islands of North Carolina's Cape Hatteras National Seashore are among the most popular recreational destinations on the Atlantic coast. Park managers strive to integrate the needs of wildlife with recreational use of the area's beaches, but in some cases, they impose restrictions on the latter in order to preserve the former—sometimes even completely closing portions of beaches to pedestrian and off-road vehicle traffic to protect nesting birds. These closures are controversial, but a new independent report from the American Ornithological Society (AOS) finds evidence that despite complaints from the public, they provide significant benefits for vulnerable beach-nesting birds and sea turtles.

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