Dogs Endanger Least Terns Chicks

The Harrison County Sheriff's Department is stepping up patrols of the beach because of apparent dog attacks on the least terns that are nesting in Biloxi.

Members of the Gulf Coast Audubon Society buried the bodies of about 50 dead least terns Saturday morning. Although some of the chicks died of natural causes, officials say a great deal of them appeared to have been attacked by a dog. Recently, Audubon Society members say they witnessed someone allowing his dog run to loose in the area and they fear it's going to continue.

"Obviously the dog is stepping on them," Jan Dubisson of the Audubon Society said. "He's also picking them up and probably throwing them cause we found what looks like there was a scuffle in the sand."

Members of the Audubon Society want to remind people that anyone who tampers with least tern eggs is breaking the law and if found guilty, could face heavy fines.