- Associated Press - Friday, June 20, 2014

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Biologists say dogs are partly responsible for the loss of rare bird nests on a central Florida beach.

Volusia County officials last week celebrated the discovery of 63 least tern nests on the beach at Disappearing Island. Biologists say 90 percent of the protected birds’ nests vanished by Wednesday.

State wildlife biologist Alex Kropp says it was the first large colony of least terns found on a Volusia County beach in a decade.

County officials tell The Daytona Beach News-Journal (http://bit.ly/TeUgmJ ) that three dogs were photographed roaming the area while they were being walked without leashes near the colony. They say dog tracks also were found inside the colony.

Dogs aren’t prohibited on the island, but the colony was roped off and posted with signs warning people to stay out.

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Information from: Daytona Beach (Fla.) News-Journal, http://www.news-journalonline.com

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