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  • WCEP: Whooping Crane Reintroduction Project Meets with Success - and Surprises - but These Endangered Birds Still Face Many Dangers
    htm We are overwhelmed by the tremendous support we have received for this project and while we appreciate the interest that people worldwide have taken in these young whooping cranes we also ask that you help us continue the success of the reintroduction effort by helping to ensure the wildness of these young birds said Tucker This is not the first time whooping cranes have shown up in Michigan in recent years In the summer of 2000 two whooping cranes from an experimental non migratory flock in Florida migrated more than 1 000 miles on their own to rural Michigan This unexpected development resulted in the first whooping crane sighting in Michigan in more than 100 years The male of this pair died during the pair s return autumn journey but the female made it back to Florida and whooping cranes did not return to Michigan again until recently Michigan is excited to have these rare birds in our state said Michigan DNR Director Becky Humphries The people of Michigan will help ensure these birds are monitored and protected while they are here WCEP would like to thank not only the Michigan DNR but also natural resources agencies in Indiana and Ohio along with the U S Forest Service in Michigan and others who have helped to monitor these eight cranes The Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership an international coalition of public and private groups is organizing the effort to reintroduce this highly imperilled species in eastern North America which was a part of its historic range In 2001 project partner Operation Migration s pilots along with other WCEP members 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 and 2003 Operation Migration pilots conditioned and guided a second and third group of juvenile cranes to Chassahowitzka NWR Those cranes have begun returning to their summer home in central Wisconsin and there are now 36 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 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

    Original URL path: http://www.bringbackthecranes.org/newsroom/2004/nr-052704.html (2016-05-02)
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  • WCEP: First "Class of 2003" Endangered Whooping Cranes Arrive at Wisconsin’s
    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 36 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 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 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 whooping cranes 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 associating with any male flock mates which typically select the future breeding territory Project staff from the International Crane Foundation and the U S Fish and Wildlife Service track and monitor southbound cranes in an effort to learn as much as possible about their unassisted journeys and the habitat choices they make along the way ICF and FWS biologists actively track the cranes as they make their way north and continue to monitor the birds along with Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources biologists while the whooping cranes are in their summer locations Whooping cranes were on the verge of extinction in the 1940s Today there are only about 275 birds in the wild Aside from the 36 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

    Original URL path: http://www.bringbackthecranes.org/newsroom/2004/nr-042004.html (2016-05-02)
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  • WCEP: "Class of 2003" Endangered Whooping Cranes Begin Unassisted Migration
    County Georgia at 4 25 that afternoon logging a flight time of 6 hours and 52 minutes The remaining eight 2003 cranes along with crane 14 from 2002 remain at the Chassahowitzka pensite Meanwhile most cranes from 2001 and 2002 have begun their northward migrations Four cranes including hatch year 2001 number 6 and 2002 cranes numbers 9 11 and 12 have already been confirmed in Wisconsin on and around the reintroduction site at Necedah NWR Only three cranes from 2002 numbers 1 3 and 15 remain on their wintering habitat in Florida Biologists from the International Crane Foundation and the U S Fish and Wildlife Service are actively tracking the cranes as they make their way north and will continue to monitor the birds along with Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources biologists when the whooping cranes are back in their summer locations The public can track the progress of the migrating cranes on the Web at http www savingcranes org whatsnew Migration flocks asp The cranes from 2003 were the third whooping crane flock led by Operation Migration s ultralight aircraft from Necedah NWR to Chassahowitzka NWR on Florida s Gulf Coast The juvenile cranes spent the winter in an open topped release enclosure designed to ensure protection from potential predators while allowing the young birds to still explore their winter salt marsh surroundings The ultralight aircraft is only used during the cranes maiden fall migration The eight 2003 cranes that have begun their migration include the flock s oldest and youngest cranes as well as crane 3 which last year during training underwent surgery for a small leg fracture and did not fly in the ultralight led fall migration until 244 miles into the journey The Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership is a consortium of non profit organizations government

    Original URL path: http://www.bringbackthecranes.org/newsroom/2004/nr-040104.html (2016-05-02)
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  • Field Ecology Project Coordinator Anne Lacy This crane is one of five pioneering endangered birds from the first year of an ongoing reintroduction effort that uses ultralight aircraft to guide young cranes on their first southward migration The Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership WCEP is a consortium of non profit organizations and government agencies working together to return a migratory population of whooping cranes to eastern North America which is a portion of its historic range The Class of 2001 was the first group of whooping cranes to be led south using ultralight aircraft along a new eastern North America flyway Project partner Operation Migration Inc led two more groups of cranes south in the fall of 2002 and 2003 The juvenile cranes are led on a 1 200 mile journey from Wisconsin s Necedah National Wildlife Refuge through Illinois Indiana Kentucky Tennessee and Georgia arriving at Florida s Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge in late fall The ultralight aircraft is only used during the cranes first fall migration they return to Wisconsin on their own in the spring Project biologists believe the 2003 cranes will do the same There are currently 36 whooping cranes in this reintroduction project Prior to 2001 whooping cranes had not migrated over the eastern portion of North America in more than a century Other cranes from the Class of 2001 as well as cranes from the Class of 2002 have begun their spring migrations The public can track their progress on the Web at http www savingcranes org whatsnew Migration flocks asp WCEP founding members are the International Crane Foundation Operation Migration Inc Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources U S Fish and Wildlife Service U S Geological Survey s Patuxent Wildlife Research Center and National Wildlife Health Center International Whooping Crane Recovery Team National Fish and

    Original URL path: http://www.bringbackthecranes.org/newsroom/2004/ma-032404.html (2016-05-02)
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  • WCEP: Third Group of Endangered Whooping Cranes
    now that they are here we can all breathe a little easier The Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership WCEP an international coalition of public and private organizations is conducting this ultralight led reintroduction project in an effort to return this highly imperiled species to its historic range in eastern North America Today marks yet another inspiring step toward recovering this most endangered crane said the U S Fish and Wildlife Service s John Christian who is co chair of WCEP With the contributions of our myriad state nonprofit and federal partners I have no doubt that the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership will continue on a path to restoring whooping cranes to the skies and wetlands of eastern North America The 16 cranes left Necedah Wis on October 16 following ultralight aircraft flown by Operation Migration Inc pilots International Crane Foundation and U S Fish and Wildlife Service biologists will monitor their winter behavior and track them on their anticipated spring migration north in 2004 These birds are the third generation of whooping cranes to make this unique assisted migration from Wisconsin to Florida All but one of the 20 cranes from the ultralight led migration classes of 2001 and 2002 have completed their own unassisted southward migrations representing another milestone in this historic reintroduction effort Once again this team has performed an amazing feat and we couldn t have done it without our many partners and donors said Joe Duff co founder of Operation Migration and migration team leader Today we are 1 225 miles closer to safeguarding the whooping crane from extinction It s an exciting time for our crew and for all involved in this project Whooping cranes were on the verge of extinction in the 1940s and today only about 300 cranes live 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 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 where they 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 brought to Necedah NWR each June to begin a summer of conditioning behind the ultralights to prepare them for their first fall journey Pilots guide 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 The WCEP team has again shown that the power

    Original URL path: http://www.bringbackthecranes.org/newsroom/2003/nr-120803.html (2016-05-02)
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  • WCEP: First Wild Whooping Cranes of 2003 Reach Florida after Unassisted Migration
    birds are part of an effort by the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership to establish a wild migrating flock of whooping cranes in eastern North America Cranes 3 and 15 from the ultralight led migration Class of 2002 left Dougherty County Georgia at 9 45 a m Saturday and crossed into Florida at 1 20 p m They landed to roost in Marion County Florida at 5 30 p m They arrived at their wintering site at Chassahowitzka NWR at 10 25 a m Sunday according to U S Fish and Wildlife Service and International Crane Foundation biologists who are tracking the wild cranes as they migrate These two birds started south from Allamakee County Iowa on November 8 and completed their return to Florida in just seven days This is the first time they have made this southward migration unaided by aircraft Crane number 1 from the Class of 2001 left his roost site in Levy County Florida at 10 32 a m Sunday and flew with sandhill cranes to Alachua County After separating from the sandhills he flew to Pasco County where he landed to roost at 4 04 p m This location is near where he spent last winter Updates on the progress of all of the wild whooping cranes as well as this year s ultralight led migration are available on the Web at http www bringbackthecranes org The Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership is a consortium of non profit organizations and government agencies Founding members are the International Crane Foundation Operation Migration Inc Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources U S Fish and Wildlife Service U 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

    Original URL path: http://www.bringbackthecranes.org/newsroom/2003/ma-111703.html (2016-05-02)
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  • WCEP: Reintroduced Eastern Whooping Cranes Begin Unassisted Fall Migration Flight to Florida
    refuges are managed by the U S Fish and Wildlife Service All 20 have flown the Florida Wisconsin flyway unassisted at least once The birds from the Class of 2001 are making the southbound trip on their own for the second time The wild cranes migrate in small groups or by themselves and are expected to follow essentially the same migration route as in previous years which can take them over parts of Illinois Indiana Kentucky Tennessee and Georgia before reaching their winter home at Chassahowitzka Their southward migration can take anywhere from a week to more than a month Last year the first wild crane to migrate south unassisted Lucky Number 7 of the Class of 2001 made the journey in just over a week International Crane Foundation and U S Fish and Wildlife Service biologists are tracking the wild cranes as they migrate Updates on their progress are available on the Web at http www bringbackthecranes org A third ultralight led flock of 16 juvenile whooping cranes departed Wisconsin on Oct 16 This migration is currently at a stopover site in Kentucky Several of the reintroduced wild whoopers are not far behind in Indiana It is not unusual for the previous years birds to catch up with their ultralight led cohorts Last year birds from the Class of 2001 appeared at one of the ultralight stopover sites and accompanied the juveniles and their aircraft guides for a short time before continuing on their own The ultralight led migration is expected to take approximately 50 days The reintroduction goal is to establish a migrating flock of 125 birds including 25 breeding pairs in eastern North America by 2020 The whooping crane chicks that take part in the reintroduction project are hatched at the U S Geological Survey s Patuxent

    Original URL path: http://www.bringbackthecranes.org/newsroom/2003/ma-111303.html (2016-05-02)
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  • WCEP: Rare Bird Reintroduction Project
    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 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 Both 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 However after returning to the Necedah area in April three females known as cranes 3 7 and 15 from the Class of 2002 headed west eventually settling near the Coteau Prairie in eastern South Dakota 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 The three cranes were retrieved on August 17 and 18 by biologists from the International Crane Foundation and the U S Fish and Wildlife Service in close cooperation with field staff from South Dakota Game Fish and Parks as well as the landowners on whose property the cranes had taken up residence Subsequently crane 7 developed an illness known as capture myopathy and despite intense rehabilitation therapy eventually had to be euthanized due to the poor prognosis for a good quality of life Despite this setback the project has enjoyed many successes and WCEP partners anticipate the 15 remaining cranes from the Class of 2002 will begin their first unaided fall migration in the next few weeks along with the five veterans of the Class of 2001 Residents in the seven state Wisconsin to Florida flyway should keep their eyes toward the sky for the telltale white forms of whooping cranes gliding on the wind One of the Class of 2003 cranes conditioned at Necedah this summer will not be starting out with its flockmates on the ultralight led migration Crane 3 was diagnosed with a small fracture in her right leg and recently underwent surgery at the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo Wisc where she remains under observation WCEP project veterinarians hope to transport this crane separately along the migration and allow her to join the ultralight led migration in progress after she has healed Project staff from the International Crane Foundation and the U S Fish and Wildlife Service will track and monitor the 2001 and 2002 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

    Original URL path: http://www.bringbackthecranes.org/newsroom/2003/nr-101603.html (2016-05-02)
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