The recent storms killed all of the young birds in the experimental flock that had recently arrived from Wisconsin. It is entirely possible that severe storms associated with global climate change may increasingly threaten the Florida birds, as well as the wild flock that winters on the Central Texas coast. You can spend millions of dollars trying to save these birds, but with small populations, chance storms and other events like this are a huge threat. That's why it is important to keep populations of birds from getting to small, and a the real reason that we should be concerned about Cerulean Warblers, Greater Sage Grouse, Rusty Blackbirds, and other species that are seriously declining. Its a travesty that the Bush Administration refuses to list some of these species. Once their populations get even smaller, they will be harder to save, and even more threatened by freak storms or other events.
In managing endangered species, the question shouldn't be "how small can the population get" before we have to step in to help it, but "how can we get even more birds than we think we need, so they can make it through freak events like this?" Its like when you learned to drive a car--you shouldn't be seeing how close you can drive to the edge of the cliff, but how far away from the cliff you can get.
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