Whoopers to make bayou return

Posted February 12th, 2011 by kcorliss. Comments (2).

(USF&WS)

The whooping cranes in the remaining “wild” flock winter on the Texas coast, nest up in Canada’s Wood Buffalo park area, and migrate between the two zones twice annually. The Florida reintroduction appears to be meeting with some success as the flock has reached about 100 birds. This group summers (nests) in Wisconsin.

Now comes word (from Reuters) the Feds are going to make an attempt at reestablishing the huge bird to Louisiana.

Ten whooping cranes, the most endangered species of crane in the world, will be reintroduced in a Louisiana conservation area more than 60 years after the birds’ numbers dwindled to near zero, the U.S. Interior Department said on Tuesday….

When the birds get used to their new surroundings, they will be released into a 1.5-acre (0.67-hectare) open pen. They will be monitored, fed and encouraged to roost, said Hess, who works for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries…

The next set of cranes should be reintroduced in October, he said. The project is expected to last about 10 years.

I suppose it’s a good idea. You never want your entire population in one place at the same time, which was the case for many years with the wild flock. With the apparent success of the Florida flock and now this one in Louisiana, USF&WS should be able to breathe a little easier having three disparate populations.

The one big question I had was not answered in the story: Is this going to be a migratory flock or a resident one? If migratory, where do the experts want them to summer, Wood Buffalo? Guess we’ll find out eventually.

2 Responses to “Whoopers to make bayou return”

  1. Andrea

    I think it’s supposed to be a non-migratory flock. Here’s a link to the news release on the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries:

    http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/news/33698

  2. Avatar of Reality Check
    Reality Check

    I’d love to see these birds get established up at J.Clark Salyer refuge, Des Lacs, Long Lake National Wildlife Refuge or maybe Chase Lake National Wildlife refuge for their summer grounds. Those areas could easily support a population, and it within their normal migration route(s)

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