Rare bird disappearing from the Everglades at alarming pace

It's never a good sign when an animal disappears from the place that gave it its name.

That's what is happening to the Everglades snail kite, an endangered hawk whose numbers are in sickening free fall from the compounded impacts of back-to-back droughts and a long-controversial water management scheme intended to protect another equally at-risk bird.

Though biologists have not yet wrapped up the latest annual count, they've already seen enough to know the kite has dropped to its lowest numbers in decades. There may be fewer than 1,000 birds left, not even a third of the population in 2000.

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