Hopes for Whoopers in Louisiana

Associated Press – August 19, 2010 3:34 PM ET

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hopes to bring whooping cranes back into south Louisiana, establishing a flock that lives and breeds on state-owned land in Vermilion Parish.

Whoopers are the world’s most endangered crane, with just under 400 birds in the wild and fewer than 150 captive. The Fish and Wildlife Service is asking for public comment on its proposal to try to establish a flock at the White Lake Wetland Conservation Area, where the cranes once lived and raised young.

The only self-sustaining wild flock migrates between Wood Buffalo National Park in the Northwest Territories of Canada and Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Texas. One smaller flock migrates between Wisconsin and Florida, and a second lives in Florida year-round.