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In the early 1900s the Least Tern was in danger of disappearing from the northeastern United States because they were hunted for their feathers to decorate hats. Laws passed in 1918 helped the species to recover through the 1920s and ‘30s. Development of coastal areas destroying habitat and breeding grounds, as well as general human activity, has once again been causing a decline in the populations of this bird. The Least Tern has a nearly worldwide distribution and on the Atlantic Coast it breeds from Maine to Argentina. Its wintering grounds range from the Gulf Coast and Central America south to Peru and Brazil. This bird’s New York status is threatened and its Federal status is endangered in the interior U.S., but not on the coast. For more detailed information visit: www.dec.state.ny.us