KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A federal official says the world's only naturally migrating whooping cranes died at about twice their normal rate last year and will likely see an overall drop in numbers this year.
Tom Stehn, who oversees whooping crane conservation efforts for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, says 21 percent of a flock of whooping cranes that migrates between northern Canada and the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Texas each year died off last year. Typically about 10 percent of the flock dies off.
The whooping crane numbered just 15 in 1941 but now numbers 539.