Rare bird vanishing from Everglades

July 7, 2008 1:31:01 PM PDT
Bioligists say an endangered hawk in the Everglades is getting closer to extinction. Experts say the number of Everglades snail kites are falling fast because of droughts and a water management scheme intended to help another at-risk bird.

Biologists are still finishing their annual count, but they say the snail kite will likely drop to its lowest numbers in decades. There may be fewer than 1,000 birds left.

Wiley Kitchens, a University of Florida research ecologist, says "the situation is dire."

The snail kite was a founding member of the federal endangered species list in 1967. A decade ago, it had seemed one of the success stories in the Everglades after its numbers increased.

Now it is fighting extinction again.

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