Project Updates – 2008


Index:
– WCEP Year in Review – 2008
– December 2008 Project Update
– November 2008 Project Update
– Ultralight-Led Migration Begins
– Local ROTC helps St. Marks NWR Prepare for Whooping Crane Arrival
– Chassahowitzka NWR – Pen Repair and Maintenance
– New Route for Fall Ultralight-Led Migration
– September 2008 Project Update
– First Whooping Cranes of the “Class of 2008” Arrive at Necedah Wildlife Refuge



WCEP Year in Review – 2008

Prepared by:

Louise Clemency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Joe Duff, Operation Migration

The Summary is below – Go here for the complete 38-page report (2.13MB PDF)

Flight training at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge. Photo by Operation Migration

Flight training at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge. Photo by Operation Migration

2008 gave us cause to celebrate our partners – both longtime and new.

Through the efforts of all the hardworking folks out on the ground as well as those toiling behind the scenes and supporting the project with donations, our eastern migratory Whooping crane flock continues to grow. As of mid-February 2009 there are 87 wild birds in the eastern migratory Whooping crane population, consisting of 52 males and 35 females.

As we look back on the challenges and successes of this year, what stands out is how our partners and supporters really come through when we need them most.

Since 2001, the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP), an international coalition of public and private agencies and organizations, has been working to establish a self-sustaining migratory population of whooping cranes in eastern North America.

 

Whooping cranes (commonly known as “whoopers” for their loud and penetrating unison calls) were on the verge of extinction due to hunting and habitat loss in the 1940s, and were listed as federally endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1967.

 

The recovery goal for this project is a self-sustaining population of at least 125 adult whooping cranes and 25 nesting pairs. Successful establishment of this breeding population will help meet one of the primary recovery objectives identified in the International Recovery Plan.

 

We ended our Winter meeting in January of 2008 with the decision to start splitting the ultralight cohort into two groups that would winter at separate locations in Florida. That decision kicked off a tremendous effort to build the kind of outstanding partner support that we have long relied on around the Chassahowitzka NWR at St. Marks NWR. We laid the groundwork for our partnership with the St. Marks NWR as preparations began to build a second release site at the refuge.

Back on the Wisconsin breeding grounds this summer, a much-needed drawdown of the main pool at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge meant that the ultralight training had to be shifted to a new site on the refuge. Necedah NWR and Operation Migration staff worked hard to make the new pen site suitable for the young whooping cranes, but we realized that the blind previously used by visitors to view the training process was too far from the new site to be useful. As always seems to happen when WCEP has a need, a new partner came through with the perfect solution. Volk Air Force Base helped set up a large camouflage tent outside the new ultralight training site. Thanks to our partners in the Air Force, once again visitors to the refuge were able to watch the young whooping cranes learn to fly alongside the ultralight aircraft, unaware of the human observers hidden in the tent.

The establishment of a new migration route for Operation Migration also resulted in new partnerships. As we explained last year, the turbulent air currents that the ultralight pilots faced trying to cross the Cumberland Ridge posed risks to both pilots and young cranes. This year, OM followed a new route, and was welcomed into the homes and schools of a whole new set of supporters, showing once again how this project brings out the best in so many people.

In Florida, we welcomed another National Wildlife Refuge and community to the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership, as half of the ultralight birds were brought to St. Marks NWR south of Tallahassee to spend the winter at their newly constructed pensite. The pensite was built through the hard work of refuge staff and local supporters. School kids in Tallahassee became pen pals with school kids in Necedah, sharing the discovery of the migratory species that now visits both their hometowns.

The Southwest Florida Water Management District again hosted our birds at the Halpata site where the cranes stopped before making the final flight to Chassahowitzka. Staff and supporters there help prepare the site for the young cranes through mowing, prescribed burning and pen construction.

 

 

Completing the final leg of their assisted migrations to their wintering sites, the young ultralight-led birds were greeted by crowds of old friends at the Dunnellon County Airport near Chassahowitzka and by new friends in the Tallahassee area at the town of St. Marks. Thousands gathered in both locations to see the young cranes and their valiant ultralight pilot companions fly overhead. Our heartfelt thanks to all our partners!


Whooping Crane Update – December 2008

December 2008 Population and Fall Migration Status

As of early December 2008 there are 88 birds in the Eastern Migratory Whooping Crane population, consisting of 74 previously released birds and the 14 birds of the ultralight cohort. All but one (MI) have now departed from their summer locations. The first migration movements of the fall began in late October, but the majority of migration departures occurred between November 15 and 20. The most recent information indicates the approximate distribution shown on the map below, which does not include thirteen birds not recently located in their migration. We expect additional movements in the days/weeks ahead, although some birds have already arrived in the areas where they will spend the winter.

2008 Ultralight Cohort

Since departing October 17, southward progress of the14 cranes for the ultralight project has been hampered by several large and persistent weather systems that have prevented travel on numerous days. Operation Migration reports that all birds have flown well together and they are pleased with their new more westerly route. As of December 3, these birds had travelled 525 miles, and were at their second stop in Kentucky. For daily updates on the progress of the ultralight cohort, see the Operation Migration web site at http://www.operationmigration.org/Field_Journal.html.

2008 DAR Cohort

Of the seven birds released using the DAR technique this year, all are currently migrating with older whooping cranes. As of the end of November, four birds were located in northern Illinois, two birds in southern Indiana, and one bird was previously lost to a predator in Wisconsin.

 


Whooping Crane Update – November 2008

November 2008 Population and Fall Migration Status
As of mid-November 2008 we have 74 wild birds in the Eastern Migratory Whooping Crane population, and many have recently initiated migration. The first significant migration movement of the fall occurred November 15 when 9 birds left the Necedah NWR area, followed by the departure of another 14 on November 17, and 5 on November 18. The most recent information indicates that as of November 18, there were approximately 20 whooping cranes in Illinois, 5 in Indiana, 3 in Michigan, one in Ohio, and 45 remaining in Wisconsin (see map below). With migration currently in progress, the relative locations of these birds are expected to change daily. We expect most of the remaining whooping cranes to commence migration at any time, and all birds to have departed by early December.

Map showing location of wild cranes in Wisconsin and surrounding states - November 2008.

2008 Ultralight Cohort
On October 17, the14 cranes for the ultralight project departed Necedah NWR on their way to the wintering sites in Florida. So far, southern progress has been slow due to a large number of days when weather was unsuitable for flying. As of November 18, these birds have made it as far as north central Illinois. For daily updates on the progress of the ultralight cohort, see the Operation Migration web site at http://www.operationmigration.org/Field_Journal.html.

2008 DAR Cohort
The six birds designated for the DAR project were released on the Necedah NWR on October 18. On October 22, a seventh bird was released that had originally been intended for the ultralight project, but was transferred to the DAR project due to aggressive behavior. As of November 19, one of the birds has been lost to a predator, and four of the remaining six birds have commenced migration.

 


Ultralight-Led Migration Begins

October 17, 2008

Contact:

Joan Garland, 608-381-1262

Dan Peterson, 608-565-4412

Fourteen young whooping cranes this morning began their ultralight-led migration from central Wisconsin’s Necedah National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). This is the eighth group of birds to take part in a landmark project led by the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP), an international coalition of public and private groups that is reintroducing this highly imperiled species in eastern North America, part of its historic range. There are now 68 whooping cranes in the wild in eastern North America thanks to WCEP’s efforts.

The four ultralight aircraft and juvenile cranes will be following a new route this year, passing through Wisconsin, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia to reach the birds’ wintering habitats at Chassahowitzka and St. Marks National Wildlife Refuges along Florida’s Gulf Coast.

“We are excited about the migration this year,” said Joe Duff, CEO of Operation Migration, the WCEP partner that leads the ultralight migration. “The new migration route offers opportunities for increased outreach and conservation education. Also, we know it will be safer, and we hope it will be faster.”

The fourteen ultralight-led cranes will be split into two groups upon arrival in Florida–one group will winter at Chassahowitzka NWR and one group will spend the winter at St. Marks NWR. The decision to split the birds comes after the loss in February 2007 of 17 of the 18 Class of 2006 whooping cranes in a severe storm at Chassahowitzka NWR. WCEP hopes the two separate wintering locations will help reduce the risk of another catastrophic loss.

In addition to the 14 birds being led south by ultralights, biologists from the International Crane Foundation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reared six whooping cranes at Necedah NWR. The birds will be released in the company of older cranes from whom the young birds will learn the migration route. This is the fourth year WCEP has used this Direct Autumn Release method, which supplements the ultralight migrations.

Whooping cranes that take part in the ultralight and Direct Autumn Release reintroductions are hatched at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, Md., and at the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo, Wis. Chicks are raised under a strict isolation protocol and to ensure the birds remain wild, handlers adhere to a no-talking rule and wear costumes designed to mask the human form.

In 2001, project partner Operation Migration’s pilots led the first whooping crane chicks, conditioned to follow their ultralight aircraft surrogates, south from Necedah NWR to Chassahowitzka NWR. Each subsequent year, WCEP biologists and pilots have conditioned and guided additional groups of juvenile cranes to Chassahowitzka NWR. Once led south, the cranes are able to migrate on their own, without assistance, in following years.

In the spring and fall, project staff from the International Crane Foundation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service track and monitor the released cranes in an effort to learn as much as possible about their unassisted journeys and the habitat choices they make both along the way and on their summering and wintering grounds.

Most graduated classes of whooping cranes spend the summer in central Wisconsin, where they use areas on or near the Necedah NWR, as well as other public and private lands.

Whooping cranes were on the verge of extinction in the 1940s. Today, there are only about 525 birds in existence, 375 of them in the wild. Aside from the 68 birds reintroduced by WCEP, the only other migrating population of whooping cranes nests at the Wood Buffalo National Park in the Northwest Territories of Canada and winters at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge on the Texas Gulf Coast. A non-migrating flock of approximately 35 birds lives year-round in the central Florida Kissimmee region.

Whooping cranes, named for their loud and penetrating unison calls, live and breed in wetland areas, where they feed on crabs, clams, frogs and aquatic plants. They are distinctive animals, standing five feet tall, with white bodies, black wing tips and red crowns on their heads.

WCEP asks anyone who encounters a whooping crane in the wild to please give them the respect and distance they need. Do not approach birds on foot within 200 yards; try to remain in your vehicle; do not approach in a vehicle within 100 yards. Also, please remain concealed and do not speak loudly enough that the birds can hear you. Finally, do not trespass on private property in an attempt to view whooping cranes.

Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership founding members are the International Crane, FoundationOperation Migration, Inc.Wisconsin Department of Natural ResourcesU.S. Fish and Wildlife ServiceU.S. Geological Survey’s Patuxent Wildlife Research Center and National Wildlife Health Center, International Whooping Crane Recovery Team, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin.

Many other flyway states, provinces, private individuals and conservation groups have joined forces with and support WCEP by donating resources, funding and personnel. More than 60 percent of the project’s budget comes from private sources in the form of grants, public donations and corporate sponsors.

A Wisconsin Whooping Crane Management Plan that describes project goals and management and monitoring strategies shared and implemented by the partners is online at: http://dnr.wi.gov/org/land/er/birds/wcrane/wcraneplan.htm.

For more information on the project, its partners and how you can help, visit the WCEP website at http://www.bringbackthecranes.org.

-WCEP-


Local ROTC helps St. Marks NWR Prepare for Whooping Crane Arrival

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Wakulla High School ROTC volunteers fill sand bags for construction of an oyster bar for the new whooping crane pen. September 2008

Photo by USFWS: Billy Brooks

The Wakulla High School ROTC helped staff from St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge prepare habitat inside the new whooping crane pen. At a work party held on Saturday, September 27, ROTC volunteers filled 900 sandbags to construct an oyster reef in the pen. The pen will soon be the winter home for a group of young whooping cranes which will be the first to arrive at this newly established wintering site. When completed, the oyster reef will provide a secure roosting area where the young cranes can get in the habit of roosting in water, a behavior essential to protection from predators.

 

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New whooping crane pen at St. Marks NWR, September 2008.

Photo by Billy Brooks

The Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP) has released young whooping cranes every year since 2001, as part of a project to reintroduce a migratory population to eastern North America. This population currently numbers 73 birds, in addition to the 14 birds currently being led southward behind ultralight aircraft. For the first time, WCEP has decided to split the current-year cohort into two groups. One group will winter at the already established site at Chassahowitzka NWR in Citrus County and the other group will winter at St. Marks NWR. The decision to split the cohort was made to prevent the possible loss of an entire cohort due to a catastrophic event, which did occur in February of 2007 as a result of lightning storms and high tides. Project personnel will monitor the birds throughout their first winter, after which the young cranes will migrate back to Wisconsin on their own.

 

The survival of young whooping cranes over their first winter is critical to building the numbers needed for population establishment. Having a safe place to spend the winter, in areas removed from human disturbance, allows the young whooping cranes to prepare for the long migration back to their Wisconsin breeding area.

October 2008


Chassahowitzka NWR – Pen Repair and Maintenance

Whooping crane pen at Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Biologist Billy Brooks makes fence repairs in preparation for arrival of whooping cranes. October 2008

Photo by USFWS: Keith Ramos

Staff of Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services’ Jacksonville, Florida Field Office recently collaborated with volunteers, including members of the Refuge Friends group, on repairs and upgrades to the whooping crane pen facilities located on the Refuge. This pen has been the winter home to a new cohort of whooping cranes each fall since 2001, and will soon house the Class of 2008 whooping crane chicks scheduled to arrive later this fall. Work completed included vegetation clearing, fence repair, and upgrading a boardwalk that provides safe access to the pen by project staff. This much-needed maintenance will help to provide protection from predators and ensure the survival of these valuable birds over the wintering period.

Whooping crane pen site at Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge.
Marsh Masters at work adjacent to the Chassahowitzka pen site, October 2008.

Photo by Keith Ramos

The Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP) has been releasing young whooping cranes since 2001, as part of an ongoing project to reintroduce a migratory population to eastern North America. This population currently numbers 73 birds in the wild, in addition to the 14 birds currently being led southward behind ultralight aircraft. The exact date of arrival of the new cohort of whooping cranes is dependant upon weather, and so is difficult to predict. Based upon experiences from previous years, the birds will arrive some time between early December and mid-January. Upon arrival, the birds will have time to acclimate to life on their own, yet be protected from predators and other hazards by roosting within the confines of the pen. The oversight of the winter monitoring staff will ensure their survival over the first winter of life, during a period when high rates of mortality could otherwise occur.

 

 

 

 


New Route for Fall Ultralight-Led Migration

In 2008, the migration team plans to use a new, more westerly migration route to Florida this year. This new route was established to avoid the difficulties associated with crossing the Appalachians. The Direct Autumn Release (DAR) birds will continue their training until late fall, when they will be released in groups of two to three birds near suitable older cranes near the Necedah NWR rearing site. These DAR birds will be carefully monitored during the fall migration to track their locations and ensure their continued progress towards the Florida wintering area.

Map showing the new and old migration routes from Wisconsin to Florida. Map provide by Operation Migration


Whooping Crane Update – September 2008

Background
Every year since 2001, the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP) has raised groups of whooping crane chicks at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in central Wisconsin. Birds are reared by costumed handlers using an isolation protocol to prevent human habituation and then led by ultralight aircraft to a wintering area on the gulf coast of Florida. In 2005, we also began using the Direct Autumn Release (DAR) technique. With this technique, birds are reared in isolation as they are for the ultralight project, but are then released in small groups with wild whooping cranes. The intent is that they learn the migration route from these older, more experienced birds.

Five juvenile whooping cranes in flight at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge. Photo by Mark Chenoweth

Photo by Mark Chenoweth

2008 Population

As of early September 2008 we have 69 wild birds in the population, with the majority in Wisconsin, although we also have 4 birds in Michigan, 7 in Minnesota, and 1 in Indiana (See map below). Whooping cranes often wander over a large area during their first year of life and most of the birds not currently in the Wisconsin reintroduction area are young birds hatched in 2007.

Nesting Success and Disappointments
We had our first nesting attempts in Wisconsin in 2005, although they were unsuccessful. However, in 2006, we saw at least 10 breeding pairs produce five nests with eggs. For the first time in over 100 years in the eastern United States, one of these nests successfully hatched and fledged a wild whooping crane. This wild-raised chick is still alive, after twice migrating to the Florida wintering area and back.

In 2007, there were four more nesting attempts, but all nests were abandoned prior to hatching. In 2008, we documented 11 nesting attempts, all of which, again, were abandoned during incubation. The cause for the nest abandonment we have observed over the past several years has not yet been determined, but is currently a priority subject of study for this project.

2008 Cohort’s Fall Migration

We are currently preparing 21 chicks for the fall 2008 migration: 15 cranes for the ultralight project and 6 for the DAR project. The ultralight birds are training by flying behind the aircraft every day, dependant upon weather, to gain strength and endurance. The targeted departure date is October 10, with plans to use a new, more westerly migration route to Florida this year. (See map below). This new route was established to avoid the difficulties associated with crossing the Appalachians. The DAR birds will continue their training until late fall, when they will be released in groups of two to three birds near suitable older cranes near the Necedah NWR rearing site. These DAR birds will be carefully monitored during the fall migration to track their locations and ensure their continued progress towards the Florida wintering area.

 

Map showing location of wild cranes in Wisconsin and surrounding states - September 2008.

Previous Cohorts’ Fall Migration and Reporting Sightings

Pre-migration movements have already begun, although we do not expect to see any large migration movements until late fall. When migration gets into full swing in October and November, we ask that sightings of migrants be passed on to us through the whooping crane reporting web site.

The link above provides a public reporting form on a site maintained by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), but when a report is submitted, the information goes simultaneously to multiple partners including the biologists who are tracking the birds, FWS, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, International Crane Foundation, and Operation Migration.

We ask that everyone help reduce habituation to humans by observing the birds from a safe distance with binoculars and/or spotting scopes. Cranes who become overly tolerant of human presence are at greater risk to numerous hazards that could endanger their well-being. We recognize that some birders may share the specific locations of whooping cranes on local “rare bird alerts”, but we believe that most people are glad to protect the birds by maintaining their distance and allowing these birds to establish a healthy, wild nature. We ask the media to not release any locations more specific than county level.

Map showing the new and old migration routes from Wisconsin to Florida. Map provide by Operation Migration


First Whooping Cranes of the “Class of 2008” Arrive at Necedah Wildlife Refuge

June 26 , 2008

WCEP 08-02
Contact:
Joan Garland, 608-356-9462, x142
Dan Peterson, 608-565-4412

Seven whooping crane chicks arrived June 25 at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge in central Wisconsin to begin preparation for their fall migration behind ultralight aircraft.

The seven chicks are members of the “Class of 2008”, which will be the eighth flock of endangered juvenile whooping cranes to take part in a reintroduction project conducted by the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP), a coalition of public and private organizations. Thanks to the efforts of WCEP’s members, there are now 72 wild, migrating cranes in eastern North America, which was part of their historic range.

The chicks comprise the first cohort of young whooping cranes to arrive by private aircraft from the U.S. Geological Survey’s Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, Md., where the birds hatched, imprinted on and learned to follow ultralight aircraft on the ground. Following a veterinarian checkup that showed that all of the birds were healthy, they were shipped to Necedah NWR in large crates, in aircraft provided by Windway Capital Corp. A quick check by veterinarians upon arrival showed that the birds were ready for their new home on Necedah NWR. Two more cohorts of chicks will be shipped from Patuxent to Necedah NWR in a few weeks.

A field team from Operation Migration, Inc. and the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center will spend the summer strengthening the social cohesion of the flock and teaching them to fly behind the ultralights. This fall, Operation Migration will use ultralights to guide the young cranes on their first southward migration to Florida, the cranes’ winter home.

“This year started out with slow egg production but has picked up, and Patuxent expects to provide a full group of birds for migration behind the ultralights. Our operations and work load this year have benefited greatly from the help of expert volunteers from Disney Animal Kingdom and Sea World,” said John French, research manager for the whooping crane program at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. “Both of those organizations are in Florida, the winter home of the Eastern migratory flock, and both are committed to assist with ongoing endangered species field work–a commitment we (and the whooping cranes) are very grateful for.”

In addition to the ultralight-led birds, biologists from the International Crane Foundation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are rearing whooping crane chicks that will be released this fall into the company of older birds, from whom the young birds will learn the migration route from Necedah NWR to Florida. This is the fourth year WCEP has used this Direct Autumn Release method, which supplements the success of the ultralight migrations.

In 2001, the first whooping crane chicks were led south behind ultralight aircraft from Necedah NWR to Chassahowitzka NWR. Each subsequent year, WCEP biologists and pilots have conditioned and guided additional groups of juvenile cranes to Chassahowitzka NWR. Once led south, the cranes are able to migrate on their own, without assistance, in following years.

The whooping crane chicks that take part in the reintroduction project are hatched at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, Md., and the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo, Wis. Chicks are raised under a strict isolation protocol and to ensure the birds remain wild, handlers adhere to a no-talking rule and wear costumes designed to mask the human form.

New classes of cranes are brought to Necedah NWR each June to begin a summer of conditioning behind the ultralights to prepare them for their fall migration. Operation Migration’s pilots lead the birds on gradually longer training flights at the refuge throughout the summer until the young cranes are deemed ready to follow the aircraft along the migration route.

In the spring and fall, project staff from the International Crane Foundation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service track and monitor the released cranes in an effort to learn as much as possible about their unassisted journeys and the habitat choices they make both along the way and on their summering and wintering grounds.

Most graduated classes of whooping cranes spend the summer in central Wisconsin, where they use areas on or near the Necedah NWR, as well as other public and private lands.

Whooping cranes were on the verge of extinction in the 1940s. Today, there are only about 530 birds in existence, 380 of them in the wild. Aside from the 72 Wisconsin-Florida birds, the only other migrating population of whooping cranes nests at the Wood Buffalo National Park in the Northwest Territories of Canada and winters at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge on the Texas Gulf Coast.

This year the Wood Buffalo-Aransas flock reached a record size, as biologists counted 266 individuals on the Aransas wintering grounds.

A non-migrating flock of approximately 40 birds lives year-round in the central Florida Kissimmee region. The remaining 150 whooping cranes are in captivity in zoos and breeding facilities around North America.

Whooping cranes, named for their loud and penetrating unison calls, live and breed in wetland areas, where they feed on crabs, clams, frogs and aquatic plants. They are distinctive animals, standing five feet tall, with white bodies, black wing tips and red crowns on their heads.

WCEP asks anyone who encounters a whooping crane in the wild to please give them the respect and distance they need. Do not approach birds on foot within 200 yards; try to remain in your vehicle; do not approach in a vehicle within 100 yards. Also, please remain concealed and do not speak loudly enough that the birds can hear you. Finally, do not trespass on private property in an attempt to view whooping cranes.

Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership founding members are the International Crane, FoundationOperation Migration, Inc.,Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources U.S. Fish and Wildlife ServiceU.S. Geological Survey’s Patuxent Wildlife Research Center and National Wildlife Health Center, International Whooping Crane Recovery Team, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin.

Many other flyway states, provinces, private individuals and conservation groups have joined forces with and support WCEP by donating resources, funding and personnel. More than 60 percent of the project?s estimated $1.8 million annual budget comes from private sources in the form of grants, public donations and corporate sponsors.
For more information on the project, its partners and how you can help, visit the WCEP website at http://www.bringbackthecranes.org.
Educators and students are encouraged to visit Journey North for information and curriculum materials related to the whooping crane project: http://www.learner.org/jnorth/crane/index.html.

 

-WCEP-


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