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The four Direct Autumn Release (DAR) Whooping Crane chicks are headed to Louisiana! This year’s DAR chicks will be released in the non-migratory Whooping Crane population at the White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area in southwest Louisiana instead of with the eastern migratory population (WCEP population) in Wisconsin.
The four DAR Whooping Crane chicks, Tabasco, Pico de Gallo, Honey, and Cholula, are preparing to travel south — to Louisiana!
ICF has identified that six birds is the minimum cohort size for DAR group releases; this is based on previous experiences with DAR-type releases, including the Florida non-migratory and WCEP population releases (learn more about the history of Whooping Crane reintroduction). When ICF’s DAR cohort size in June was only four birds, we initiated discussions at ICF and with WCEP partners to explore other options.
One of those options was using the DAR birds for this year’s ultralight-led cohort, but the timing was off for the DAR birds to be incorporated into the ultralight method.
The four DAR chicks will be sent later this summer to the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Maryland for socialization with the other chicks bound for Louisiana (Update: the chicks were safely transferred to Maryland on August 11, 2014). They will be transferred to Louisiana as a group this winter. ICF is delighted to participate in this reintroduction effort with our partners at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, and we feel confident the DAR chicks, especially “Tabasco” (Louisiana is home to this pepper sauce), will feel right at home in the state.
|Learn how ICF raises Whooping Cranes for release during our live Chick Chat on Thursday, July 31 (12:00 – 12:30 pm CDT), and click here to learn about ICF’s commitment to the endangered Whooping Crane.
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