Cape Point, a famous fishing site in the Outer Banks of North Carolina not far from the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, is closed for the first time in close to two years.
A colony of least terns chose the popular angling spot — a spit of sand that juts into the Atlantic — for their nests, according to the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Facebook page.
Rangers set up a temporary wildlife protection area near the tip of Cape Point to protect the nesting birds, also known as Colonial Waterbirds.
While the protection area is up, off-road vehicles and pedestrians will be able to travel less than a mile south of Ramp 44.
"Cape Hatteras National Seashore understands the tip of Cape Point is a very important area for visitors," the park service wrote on Facebook. "While it is not possible to provide an exact date for when ORV access all the way to Cape Point will be restored, be assured that Seashore staff will actively monitor the nesting shorebirds daily in order to ensure appropriate protection buffers are maintained and to be able to reopen the area as soon as possible."
The point will likely remain closed through at least July, when young terns are expected to leave the nest, park deputy superintendent Mark Dowdle told The Virginian-Pilot.