The recovery of a tiny bird in Michigan could be derailed by another threatened bird.
The endangered piping plover went from 18 breeding pairs in 1993 to roughly 75 pairs in 2016 in the Great Lakes region.
But another threatened species in Michigan preys on the tiny bird and could stifle its recovery. The merlin is a small falcon that specifically hunts adult piping plovers.
A study published online in the Journal of Applied Ecology found that factoring in the growing merlin population would decrease projections to 67 breeding pairs of piping plovers within 10 years.
Researchers said wildlife managers will have to balance the recovery of each bird to make conservation decisions.