From KY Dept. of Fish and Wildlife Resources
Frankfort, KY, Wednesday, May 28, 2003 -
There is good news regarding the effort to restore migrating whooping
cranes to the eastern United States. In 1941, the estimated population of
whooping cranes worldwide was only 15 birds. By 1999, the worldwide
population of whooping cranes was 180 birds. Most of these birds spent the
winter in Texas and summers on the border between the United States and
In an effort to restore a migrating population of whooping cranes in the
eastern United States, young whooping cranes, most raised in captivity, are
taught to migrate by following humans flying ultralight aircraft from
Wisconsin to Florida. This spring, 20 out of the 21 whooping cranes in the
project migrated from Florida back to Wisconsin without human assistance.
These birds represent the first freely migrating wild population of
whooping cranes in the eastern United States for many decades.