(Orange, Texas)

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March 12, 2013

Judge rules against Texas in whooping crane case

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A federal judge in Texas has ruled that a state commission's management of river water was responsible for the deaths of endangered whooping cranes.

Senior U.S. District Judge Janice Graham Jack of Corpus Christi on Monday ordered the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to stop issuing water permits for the Guadalupe and San Antonio rivers. Court document show Jack wants assurances that the permits won't lead to the deaths of more of the birds.

The TCEQ said it would respond later Tuesday.

The case was argued in December 2011.

Some local governments and environmental advocates presented evidence that at least 23 cranes died on a coastal refuge in the winter of 2008-2009 because their main foods — blue crabs and wolfberries — were scarce due to higher water salinity.

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