Development boom puts pressure on Panama wetlands

In this photo taken Oct. 18, 2012, a mangrove forest hugs the coastline of Panama City. A multi-year boom in Central America’s fastest-growing economy has unleashed a wave of development along the Bay of Panama. Environmentalists warn that the construction threatens one of the world’s richest ecosystems and the habitat for as many as 2 million North American shorebirds. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)On a cloudy autumn morning a flock of chocolate-brown sandpipers slipped across the horizon toward a stretch of mangrove trees and mud flats outside Panama City, hunting for food and a resting spot on the long trip down from North America.