The population of endangered piping plovers at Kouchibouguac National Park is doing well with at least six chicks hatched so far this season, according to staff.

The small shorebirds, which return every year, were first spotted at the eastern New Brunswick park in mid-April, said Diane Amirault-Langlais, the park's resource conservation manager.

"We have eight pairs that we ended up spotting since they first started arriving to the park," she said.

"Five of those pairs ended up nesting and three of those nests have already hatched so we actually have six young chicks on the beach."

Piping plovers are extremely rare in New Brunswick and their population is on the decline.

In 2012, 111 adult piping plovers were counted across the province, representing a 15-per-cent decrease from the previous year.

There are only about 381 adult birds in all of Atlantic Canada and Quebec, said Amirault-Langlais.

It takes 28 days before the chicks can fly, so a section of the beach around the nests has been closed off to protect them, she said.

Staff are monitoring the situation and once the chicks have taken flight, the closed areas will be reopened.

To ensure the piping plovers have a successful breeding season, domestic animals are not being allowed on the beaches either.

Piping plovers are extremely vulnerable to disturbances such as dogs and human activities which may cause the birds to abandon breeding territories and nests.

Breeding season is from mid-April until August.