Contact: Anne Sayers, Director of Marketing & Communications, 608-356-9462 x 118
Baraboo – The International Crane Foundation has announced this spring’s first hatch of a Whooping Crane chick at its headquarters in Baraboo, Wisconsin. As a federally designated endangered species, the hatch of a Whooping Crane is always a significant event. The fact that it was hatched through a captive breeding program for release into the wild is further evidence of how critical such programs are to the species’ survival.
“I can’t deny it, the chick is pretty darn cute. But it has a much bigger job to do than being cute. It must shoulder the great responsibility of helping to walk its species back from the brink of extinction. But we’ll be there every step of the way to increase this chick’s – and the Whooping Crane species’ – chances for success,” explained Bryant Tarr, Curator of Birds for the International Crane Foundation.
In the 1940s, there were fewer than 20 Whooping Cranes left in the wild. Their numbers have now climbed to about 600 total. While today’s number is encouraging, it isn’t enough to guarantee the long-term survival of the Whooping Crane, especially given the number of threats they face, which include water shortages, power line collisions, habitat destruction, predation, and even shootings.
The International Crane Foundation plays a leading role in the conservation of Whooping Cranes, from captive breeding and release programs, habitat protection, and threat reduction along their flyways.
“The long-term survival of Whooping Cranes won’t just happen. Behind each successful wild bird are countless individuals who’ve helped implement our strategy that combines science-based mentoring, public education, partner collaboration, and threat mitigation,” concluded Tarr.
The Whooping Crane is the tallest bird in North America, standing up to 5 feet tall. It is one of only two crane species found in North America. To date, there have been 27 Whooping Crane eggs laid this year at the International Crane Foundation’s headquarters. For the latest egg statistics, follow the Egg Scorecard.
The International Crane Foundation works worldwide to conserve cranes and the
ecosystems, watersheds, and flyways on which they depend.