to migrate by following older cranes in the flock
2 chicks are also captive-born. In fall the chicks are released
in the company of older cranes from whom the young birds learn
the migration route in a program called Direct Autumn Release (DAR).
July 21, 2009, 11 Whooping Crane chicks were transferred from
ICF to the nearb Necedah National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) to make
up the 2009
Direct Autumn Release (DAR) cohort. The DAR birds are initially
isolation-reared at ICF and then at the Necedah NWR until the
fall release. In September or October
they are released
on or near the refuge
with older Whooping Cranes and Sandhill Cranes. They will join up with them and
3 chicks are wild-born. Their parents raise them and teach them
to migrate. This is the natural way cranes learn to migrate.
One day, the flock will be large enough for wild-born parents
to take over. Then human-assisted migration will no longer be
needed. Scientists hope to reach their goal of 25 breeding
pairs from 125 birds in Wisconsin by 2020.
For 2009: Zero
wild-born chicks had disappeared by July 15.