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Sunday, July 21, 2019

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2 artificial islands rebuilt seabird rookery: 2000 nests

2 artificial islands rebuilt seabird rookery: 2000 nests

NEW IBERIA, La. (AP) — Two artificial islands created for seabird nesting have been rebuilt, and are more successful than biologists had hoped, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says.

The state's goal was to attract 500 pairs to nest this year in the Bayou Platte Waterbird Rookery, but biologists estimate that more 2,000 pairs are nesting.

This is the 26th nesting season since the rookery was created in the Marsh Island Wildlife Refuge in Iberia Parish between Vermilion Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.

Within the past decade, the department said, more than 10,000 birds used the islands.

The rookeries were created in the early 1990s. By 2012, subsidence and erosion had left them in poor shape.

Restoration began in August 2013, and was suspended in May 2014 to let birds nest. Construction resumed after nesting season in November 2014 and was completed last year.