"Texas Drought Threatens Whooping Cranes as Food Dwindles"

"The devastating drought in Texas is raising worries that the parched conditions could harm the only self-sustaining flock of whooping cranes left in the wild.

The lack of rain has made estuaries and marshlands too salty for blue crabs to thrive and destroyed a usually plentiful supply of wolfberries, two foods that the cranes usually devour during their annual migration to the Texas Gulf Coast. The high-protein diet is supposed to sustain North America's tallest bird through the winter and prepare it for the nesting season in Canada.

In addition to the loss of blue crabs and wolfberries, a long-lasting 'red tide' — a toxic algae that blooms in salty water — has made it dangerous for the birds to eat clams, which retain the algae's toxin and can pass it along the food chain."

The Associated Press had the story January 11, 2012.


"Whooping Cranes Are Cleared for Takeoff After Getting FAA Exemption" (CNN)

"Whooping Cranes Free to Fly the Friendly Skies Home, FAA Rules" (ABC News)

"FAA: Pilots Can Guide Cranes" (AP)

"FAA Lets Whooping Crane Migration Resume" (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

"38 M.P.H. and Lots of Places to Land" (Green/NYT)

"Marcia Davis: Sandhill Crane Festival Is Hiwassee Spectacle" (Knoxville News)

"Whooping Crane Death Is Crime Against Endangered Species" (Indianapolis Star)

"'Difficult' Winter Ahead for Endangered Whooping Cranes" (Vancouver Sun)

"Tourism Group Hosts Breakfast With the Cranes" (Galveston Daily News)

"Hope Remains Despite Deadly Year for Whooping Cranes In Louisiana" (Houston Chronicle)

"Whoopers And Hoodeds" (Smoky Mountain News)

Source: AP, 01/12/2012