[Taxacom] Whooping crane news

Kenneth Kinman kennethkinman at webtv.net
Sat May 29 22:23:13 CDT 2010

Dear All,
       The sad news is that the Canadian conservationist, Ernie Kuyt,
has died, and a memorial service was held yesterday.  He was
particularly devoted to bringing the whooping crane back from near
      The good news is that the whooping cranes have produced a record
74 nests in Canada this spring (topping the previous record of 66 nests
in 2008).  This is a bit surprising given the unusually high losses of
these cranes in 2009 due to the drought (and poor food supplies) along
the Texas coast.  The remaining whoopers have apparently recovered their
health and reproductive vigor.
         ------Ken Kinman                     
P.S.  The record number of nests will hopefully produce a record number
of chicks as well.  However, with the continuing oil spill in the Gulf
of Mexico (and today's announced failure of BP's "top kill" plan), who
knows how this might influence the food supply once the whooping cranes
return to the Texas coast in the fall.  Another decline in blue crab
populations would again be detrimental, and we can't even rule out that
crude oil could even eventually wash up into the Aransas Refuge, which
could even poison their food supply.  Nothing would surprise me given
the spreading scope of that disaster.  One turn of the weather pattern
could next threaten either Texas or Florida.

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