The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department asks beachgoers in Hampton and Seabrook to be careful and disturb endangered birds nesting along the coast.
The department reports five pairs of piping plovers have taken up residence on local beaches and the areas they are nesting in have been fenced off with yellow tape.
The birds are endangered in the state and threatened nationally.
Piping plovers are the size of a sparrow and sand colored.
The intent of Fish and Game is to protect the adult birds and any chicks they may have.
Some ways the department suggests beachgoers can help protect the birds is to watch where you step, leash dogs and fill in any holes dug on the beach. Holes in the sand are traps for the chicks that can’t fly.
Since protection efforts began in 1997, 83 nesting pairs of plovers have fledged 113 chicks on the Seacoast. New Hampshire’s efforts are part of a region-wide protection program.
Overall, the Atlantic coast population of piping plovers continues to hold steady.