LOS ANGELES (AP) — The number of endangered seabirds has dropped at a 15-acre Los Angeles port sanctuary.

The Port of Los Angeles spent about $350,000 to make a windswept spit of sand on the southeastern edge of Pier 400 a site for migratory California least terns. Chick fences, tons of imported sand and traps to keep out raccoons, feral cats and crows were installed in January.

But port biologist Kathleen Keane tells the Los Angeles Times that there are only about five California least tern nests this year, the sixth consecutive year of declines in least tern nests.

The population of California least terns, which nest on beaches, declined to about 600 pairs in the 1970s because of loss of undisturbed nesting habitat. There are now an estimated 7,000 pairs.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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