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Researchers: Restrictions on human beach foot, ORV access benefits rare shorebirds at Cape Hatteras

A study of wildlife and humans at Cape Hatteras National Seashore on North Carolina's Outer Banks shows that restrictions of where visitors to the seashore can go help wildlife, particularly shorebirds.

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 human visitors to preserve the former--sometimes even completely closing portions of beaches to pedestrian and off-road vehicle traffic to protect nesting birds, noted the researchers in a report prepared by the American Ornithological Society. These closures are controversial, the researchers noted, but there's evidence that despite complaints from the public, the restrictions provide significant benefits for vulnerable beach-nesting birds and sea turtles.

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