In Vermilion Parish, the whooping crane population received a boost thanks to new introductions from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
LDWF says they added three whooping cranes recently to its experimental population. The addition is part of the department's work to re-establish Louisiana's whooping crane population.
They say that four young cranes, hatched and reared at the Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center in New Orleans, part of the Audubon Nature Institute, were received at LDWF’s White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WCA) near Gueydan on Wednesday, November 10, 2021.
One of the cranes died just a few days after its release, they say.
The annual release of juvenile cranes was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the release of the new arrivals into the wild, the current Louisiana population is 73 cranes.
The Louisiana flock began in 2011 when 10 whooping cranes from the U.S. Geological Survey’s Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Maryland were released at White Lake WCA to develop the non-migratory flock.
This marked a significant conservation milestone with the first wild whooping cranes in Louisiana since 1950.
Anyone encountering a whooping crane is advised to observe the bird from a distance and to report the sighting to LDWF https://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/page/report-a-whooping-crane-sighting-or-violation.
Anyone witnessing suspicious activity involving whooping cranes is advised to call the LDWF’s Enforcement Division at 1-800-442-2511 or use the tip411 program, which may offer a cash reward for information leading to arrests or convictions.
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