"Officials Fear Another Whooping Crane Die-Off"

"DALLAS -- Wildlife officials fear the world's only remaining natural flock of endangered whooping cranes could be at risk of another winter die-off.

The flock suffered a record 23 deaths last year at its drought-stricken winter nesting grounds in southern Texas.

Wildlife managers say a scarcity of food in the area could spell disaster for North America's tallest birds this winter too. The rains came too late last winter to produce a healthy population of blue crabs upon which the cranes thrive, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service fears a resulting significant die-off among the flock this year."

The Associated Press had the story January 27, 2010.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010