Texas drought raises stakes for Wisconsin cranes - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Texas drought raises stakes for Wisconsin cranes

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MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The devastating drought in Texas is raising the risks for the world's only self-sustaining flock of migratory whooping cranes, and it's raising the stakes for Wisconsin's efforts to help preserve the endangered species.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports (http://bit.ly/wqYq6F) that the specter of drought, hurricanes or other calamities is why Wisconsin and a few other states -- away from Texas -- were identified as candidates for crane reintroduction.

Despite a multimillion-dollar effort, Wisconsin's whoopers have struggled with reproduction issues and other problems.

The cranes that migrate in the eastern United States, largely between Wisconsin and Florida, are a separate flock from those migrating between Texas and northern Alberta, Canada. But the Wisconsin-based International Crane Foundation is now taking a more active role in Texas because of the threat to the species.

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