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Hurricane Matthew May Have Decimated Piping Plover Population

An adult piping plover runs along a beach as waves lap on the shore in the Quonochontaug Conservation Area, in Westerly, R.I. Photo by Steven Senne for the Associated Press

Bird lovers may see a lot less of the piping plover on the region’s beaches this summer. The little black-and-white shorebirds’ winter habitat in the Bahamas was hit hard by Hurricane Matthew last year, taking a heavy toll on the birds.

Piping plovers were already considered threatened in Connecticut – they’ve been hurt by shoreline development and careless beachgoers. But their winter vacation spot in the Bahamas has no human development, just thousands of other piping plovers from all over North America. Patrick Comins, with the National Audubon Society’s Connecticut chapter, says this year, it was no vacation.

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