- Associated Press - Sunday, December 21, 2014

ORLEANS, Mass. (AP) - Piping plovers and off-road vehicles don’t mix well, but federal officials are working with the town of Orleans to improve beach access to drivers while protecting vulnerable plover chicks.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says Cape Cod’s piping plover population has been rebounding thanks to conservation efforts.

Tom Chapman, supervisor of the agency’s New England field office, says there were 650 breeding pairs in 2013 - up from around 140 pairs when the piping plover gained endangered species status in 1986.

Officials say Orleans is working to find ways to give vehicles broader access to sandy areas for recreation while ensuring that flightless plover chicks aren’t accidentally injured or killed.

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