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  • WCEP: "Class of 2004" Endangered
    of which only 21 days were spent actually migrating The remaining 43 days were spent on the ground waiting for weather to improve The 2004 fall flight marked the fourth successful ultralight led migration for the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership WCEP an international coalition of public and private groups that is organizing the effort to reintroduce this highly imperiled species in eastern North America and a portion of its historic range There are now 45 migrating whooping cranes in the wild east of the Mississippi River A thirteenth hatch year 2004 crane identified by project biologists as 18 04 remains at his wintering location in Florida Project biologists removed this young bird from the ultralight imprinted group after several of his primary feathers became infected and fell out during last summer s training period Instead once the flight feathers regenerated this young crane was released with several older whooping cranes at the reintroduction site Crane 18 04 arrived in central Florida on January 3 after successfully following several different whooping cranes for more than 1 200 miles WCEP expects to use this supplemental release reintroduction method in the coming years to complement the known success of the ultralight led migrations Using the two methods together gives project managers flexibility in leveraging all whooping crane chicks made available to the reintroduction project 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 600 feet try to remain in your vehicle do not approach in a vehicle within 600 feet or if on a public road within 300 feet 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 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 Maryland There the young cranes are introduced to ultralight aircraft and raised in isolation from humans To ensure the impressionable cranes remain wild project biologists and pilots adhere to a strict no talking rule and use recorded adult crane calls to communicate with the young birds Additionally researchers wear costumes designed to mask the human form whenever they are around the cranes New classes of cranes are transported to Necedah NWR each June to begin a summer of conditioning behind the ultralights to prepare them for their fall migration 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 Graduated classes of whoopers spend much of their time during the summer on or near the Necedah and Horicon national wildlife refuges both of which are in central Wisconsin They also use state and private lands It is not unusual for yearling cranes to wander especially if they are not

    Original URL path: http://www.bringbackthecranes.org/newsroom/2005/nr-040805.html (2016-05-02)
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  • WCEP: They Did It Again!
    S Fish and Wildlife Service and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources biologists will monitor their winter behavior and track them on their anticipated spring migration north in 2005 A day before reaching Chassahowitzka NWR one of the young birds of the Class of 2004 number 6 died On Dec 10 migration team members discovered her lethargic in her traveling pen and attempted to give her fluids at the recommendation of veterinarians Though she seemed to respond to the fluids 6 04 appeared in need of medical attention and crewmembers carefully hooded her and drove her to the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine where doctors examined her The bird s white blood cell count extremely high and she showed evidence of parasitic and bacterial infections To prevent any further stress veterinarians euthanized number 6 04 on Dec 11 These birds are the fourth generation of whooping cranes to make this unique assisted migration from Wisconsin to Florida Cranes from the ultralight led migration classes of 2001 2002 and 2003 are making or have completed their own unassisted southward migrations representing another milestone in this historic reintroduction effort In 2001 project partner Operation Migration s pilots led the first whooping crane chicks conditioned to follow their ultralight surrogates south from Necedah NWR to Chassahowitzka NWR on Florida s Gulf Coast In 2002 WCEP biologists and pilots conditioned and guided a second group of juvenile cranes to Chassahowitzka NWR In the fall of 2003 WCEP conducted its third ultralight led migration With the success of this fall s migration there are now 48 whooping cranes in the wild in eastern North America 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 600 feet try to remain in your vehicle do not approach in a vehicle within 600 feet or if on a public road within 300 feet 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 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 There the young cranes are introduced to ultralight aircraft and raised in isolation from humans To ensure the impressionable cranes remain wild project biologists and pilots adhere to a strict no talking rule broadcast recorded crane calls and wear costumes designed to mask the human form whenever they are around the cranes New classes of cranes are transported to Necedah NWR each June to begin a summer of conditioning behind the ultralights to prepare them for their fall migration 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 Graduated classes of whoopers spend much of their time

    Original URL path: http://www.bringbackthecranes.org/newsroom/2004/nr-121204.html (2016-05-02)
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  • WCEP:
    traveling companion crane 18 04 the first young whooper to be conditioned behind the ultralight aircraft but introduced among older birds to learn the migration route Crane 18 04 was not able to complete the necessary conditioning to begin the ultralight led migration on October 10 This preliminary effort in 2004 will help prepare for supplemental releases in subsequent years For more information about the supplemental release technique go to www bringbackthecranes org The five whooping cranes from the Class of 2003 that spent the summer in Michigan are also on their way south for their first unassisted fall migration Four of them made history once again when they detoured through South Carolina spending some time on Cape Romain NWR along the Atlantic coast before heading north into North Carolina This is the first time whooping cranes have been in South Carolina in more than a century The remains of one of the four number 5 03 were found on Cape Romain NWR on Nov 16 An investigation into the cause of death is ongoing In 2001 project partner Operation Migration s pilots led the first whooping crane chicks conditioned to follow their ultralight surrogates south from Necedah NWR to Chassahowitzka NWR on Florida s Gulf Coast In 2002 WCEP biologists and pilots conditioned and guided a second group of juvenile cranes to Chassahowitzka NWR In the fall of 2003 WCEP conducted its third ultralight led migration Those cranes have begun returning to their summer home in central Wisconsin and there are now 35 whooping cranes in the wild in eastern North America 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 600 feet try to remain in your vehicle do

    Original URL path: http://www.bringbackthecranes.org/newsroom/2004/nr-112204.html (2016-05-02)
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  • WCEP: Fourth Group of Endangered Whooping Cranes Leaves Wisconsin for Ultralight-guided Flight to Florida
    and the agency that oversees the National Wildlife Refuge System We are also anticipating that the first two groups of cranes will make the migration this year unaided by ultralights signaling further success for this unparalleled reintroduction effort The public can follow the progress of the ultralight led migration as well as of the cranes from 2001 2002 and 2003 on their solo migration on the Web at http www operationmigration org The WCEP success story began in 2001 when eight whooping crane chicks conditioned to follow their ultralight surrogates began their first fall migration south from Necedah NWR Seven of those whoopers made it to Florida safely and five successfully completed an unassisted return migration back to central Wisconsin in the spring of 2002 One bird from this Class of 2001 was lost during the migration after colliding with a power line when it escaped its enclosure during a storm and two others were lost to bobcat predation during the winter Both power lines and predation are key threats to whooping cranes in the wild 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 Maryland There the young cranes are introduced to ultralight aircraft and raised in isolation from humans To ensure the impressionable cranes remain wild project biologists and pilots adhere to a strict no talking rule broadcast recorded crane calls and wear costumes designed to mask the human form whenever they are around the cranes All graduated classes of whoopers spent much of their time this past summer on or near the Necedah and Horicon National Wildlife Refuges both of which are in central Wisconsin Project staff from the International Crane Foundation and the U S Fish and Wildlife Service will track and monitor the 2001 2002 and 2003 southbound cranes in an effort to learn as much as possible about their unassisted journeys and the habitat choices they make along the way Whooping cranes were on the verge of extinction in the 1940s Today there are only about 275 birds in the wild Aside from the 20 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 A non migrating flock of approximately 100 birds lives year round in the central Florida Kissimmee region Since whooping cranes are vulnerable to extreme weather disease and catastrophes such as oil and chemical spills scientists and conservationists are anxious to establish additional flocks to guard against the impacts such threats might have on the species future The seven state flyway from Wisconsin to Florida is part of the historic range of the whooping crane and this additional migrating population would be a significant step toward the eventual recovery of the species According to Joe Duff lead ultralight pilot and trainer of the birds and co

    Original URL path: http://www.bringbackthecranes.org/newsroom/2004/nr-101004.html (2016-05-02)
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  • WCEP: Fourth Group of Endangered Whooping Cranes Leaves
    and the agency that oversees the National Wildlife Refuge System We are also anticipating that the first two groups of cranes will make the migration this year unaided by ultralights signaling further success for this unparalleled reintroduction effort The public can follow the progress of the ultralight led migration as well as of the cranes from 2001 2002 and 2003 on their solo migration on the Web at http www operationmigration org The WCEP success story began in 2001 when eight whooping crane chicks conditioned to follow their ultralight surrogates began their first fall migration south from Necedah NWR Seven of those whoopers made it to Florida safely and five successfully completed an unassisted return migration back to central Wisconsin in the spring of 2002 One bird from this Class of 2001 was lost during the migration after colliding with a power line when it escaped its enclosure during a storm and two others were lost to bobcat predation during the winter Both power lines and predation are key threats to whooping cranes in the wild 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 Maryland There the young cranes are introduced to ultralight aircraft and raised in isolation from humans To ensure the impressionable cranes remain wild project biologists and pilots adhere to a strict no talking rule broadcast recorded crane calls and wear costumes designed to mask the human form whenever they are around the cranes All graduated classes of whoopers spent much of their time this past summer on or near the Necedah and Horicon National Wildlife Refuges both of which are in central Wisconsin Project staff from the International Crane Foundation and the U S Fish and Wildlife Service will track and monitor the 2001 2002 and 2003 southbound cranes in an effort to learn as much as possible about their unassisted journeys and the habitat choices they make along the way Whooping cranes were on the verge of extinction in the 1940s Today there are only about 275 birds in the wild Aside from the 20 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 A non migrating flock of approximately 100 birds lives year round in the central Florida Kissimmee region Since whooping cranes are vulnerable to extreme weather disease and catastrophes such as oil and chemical spills scientists and conservationists are anxious to establish additional flocks to guard against the impacts such threats might have on the species future The seven state flyway from Wisconsin to Florida is part of the historic range of the whooping crane and this additional migrating population would be a significant step toward the eventual recovery of the species According to Joe Duff lead ultralight pilot and trainer of the birds and co

    Original URL path: http://www.bringbackthecranes.org/newsroom/2004/nr-100904.html (2016-05-02)
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  • WCEP: 2004 Whooping Cranes Start Migration
    s young whooping cranes will head south following ultra light airplanes on Saturday October 9 2004 Watch the departure this year from Grand Dyke Road at the bend between the tower and the Refuge boundary If the weather is right the departure could start as early as sunrise 6 45 a m Of course like all flights this one is weather dependant Wind or rain will keep the ultra light

    Original URL path: http://www.bringbackthecranes.org/newsroom/2004/ma-100504.html (2016-05-02)
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  • WCEP: Three Yearling Whooping Cranes Complete
    Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership WCEP to reintroduce this endangered species to the eastern half of North America which was a portion of its historic range Cranes 3 03 12 03 and 16 03 followed ultralight aircraft on their first southward migration last fall They departed from their winter home at Chassahowitzka NWR in Florida on March 30 intent on retracing the migration route they had learned and arriving at their summer training grounds at Wisconsin s Necedah NWR However the three along with five flockmates encountered human interference and poor weather which took them well east of their intended destination After spending time in northern Ohio the eight cranes split into two groups and flew into Michigan The three recently returned cranes two females and a male were last reported in Berrien County in the southwestern corner of Michigan on July 23 Biologists believe passing cold front and the propensity of the two females to wander may have contributed to the group s ability to finally circumvent Lake Michigan by flying around its south shore Local residents observed crane 1 02 foraging with a group of sandhill cranes WCEP trackers will work with local partners and volunteers to monitor her behavior and location The remains of one of the other Michigan cranes number 19 03 were discovered in west central Michigan on July 30 at the cranes roost location Biologists speculate that number 19 was killed by a coyote or other predator Its remains will be examined by wildlife forensics experts to determine the exact cause of death Led by Operation Migration pilots the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership has conducted three ultralight guided whooping crane migrations since 2001 and as a result there are now 35 wild whooping cranes in eastern North America WCEP asks anyone who encounters a whooping

    Original URL path: http://www.bringbackthecranes.org/newsroom/2004/nr-080904.html (2016-05-02)
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  • WCEP: Wisconsin’s Necedah National Wildlife Refuge Welcomes First Whooping Crane Chicks of the “Class of 2004”
    their first southward migration leading them by ultralight aircraft to Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge on Florida s Gulf coast the cranes winter home This year the field team will be joined by a special guest Tatiana Tania Zhuchkova is an experienced aviculturist who works with endangered Siberian cranes at the Oka Reserve in Brykin Bor Russia She has joined the Operation Migration crew and will spend the summer at Patuxent and Necedah observing the conditioning process and will travel with the crew on the fall migration Zhuchkova will return to her native land with knowledge to share with her colleagues working to conserve Siberian cranes in western Asia As the new young birds are being conditioned biologists continue to monitor the veteran cranes from the Classes of 2001 2002 and 2003 who have returned from Florida on their own Most of these cranes are spending the summer on public and private lands in the central Wisconsin area There are currently 36 whooping cranes in the wild as a result of these first three migration flights Eight of the whooping cranes from the Class of 2003 remain in central and southern Michigan where they are being monitored closely after having gotten off course off course during their first unassisted migration due primarily to weather The Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership thanks Windway Capital Corporation for donating its plane and pilot to transport the crane chicks from Patuxent 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 1 000 feet try to remain in your vehicle do not approach in a vehicle within 1 000 feet or if on a public road within 500 feet 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 The whooping crane chicks that take part in the reintroduction project are hatched at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center There the young cranes are introduced to ultralight aircraft and raised in isolation from humans To ensure the impressionable cranes remain wild project biologists and pilots adhere to a strict no talking rule broadcast recorded crane calls and wear costumes designed to mask the human form whenever they are around the cranes New classes of cranes are transported to Necedah NWR each June and begin a summer of conditioning behind the ultralights to prepare them for their fall migration 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 Most of the graduated classes of whoopers spend much of their time during the summer in central Wisconsin They also use state and private lands It is not unusual for yearling cranes to wander especially if they are not associating with any male flockmates which typically select the future breeding territory

    Original URL path: http://www.bringbackthecranes.org/newsroom/2004/nr-061604.html (2016-05-02)
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