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Posted Sat Jan 30 2010: from Houston Chronicle:
Officials fear another whooping crane die-off
The world's last remaining natural flock of endangered whooping cranes, which suffered a record number of deaths last year, will probably see another die-off because of scarce food supplies at its Texas nesting grounds this winter, wildlife managers said. The flock lost 23 birds in the 2008-2009 winter season, in part because its main source of sustenance, the blue crab, all but vanished from drought-parched southern Texas. The rains eventually came, but they were too late to produce healthy amounts of blue crabs for this winter. "We're looking at a pretty slender year, prey-wise, and it's going to make the cranes work harder to get food," said Allan Strand, field supervisor for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in South Texas. "I feel that we're probably going to have a die-off. It's conceivable that we could have a significant die-off."... According to the most recent aerial survey, there are an estimated 263 birds in the Texas flock. The survey, conducted last week, found that one chick has already died and another was missing.
[Read more stories about: species restoration, ecosystem interrelationships, endangered list]

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Can't we just truck in some crabs?

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