Bahamas unveils national park to protect endangered Atlantic Coast birds

The Bahamas has unveiled a new national park to help protect the winter homes of endangered Atlantic Coast shorebirds.

The Joulter Cays National Park covers nearly 114,000 acres (46,140 hectares) of uninhabited islands and sand flats northwest of Nassau. The designation will prohibit sand mining and recreational and commercial uses of that area.

The National Audubon Society said Tuesday it worked on the park's proposal along with the Bahamas National Trust.

The Joulter Cays are a popular winter destination for 13 bird species including piping plovers and red knots.

More than 50 percent of bird species in the Bahamas migrate from the U.S. and Canada.

The national park is one of several new ones created as the Bahamas aims to protect 6.18 million acres (2.5 million hectares) of land.