|Published:||Dec 24, 2012 7:18 AM EST|
|Updated:||Dec 24, 2012 11:08 AM EST|
NAPLES, Fla. (AP) - The population of wood storks may be rebounding, but that doesn't mean they're returning to nesting sites in Southwest Florida.
The Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary was the largest nesting site for wood storks in all of North America until about six years ago. The sanctuary's executive director, Jason Lauritsen, tells the Naples Daily News that the birds were forced to find other places to nest as their shallow wetland habitat declined in Florida.
Lauritsen says the storks' nesting populations are booming in Georgia and North Carolina.
Last week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said the population of wood storks had rebounded to the point that they can be classified as threatened instead of endangered. The proposed change wouldn't remove any protections for the bird.