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Meet the Cranes
Life Histories Reveal Survival Challenges

Why is it so hard for an endangered species to recover? The new Eastern flock provides a chance to see the challenges of survival. Each Whooping Crane has its own personality and life story. Read historical notes from fall 2001 to summer 2014. Study the lives of real Whooping Cranes and see what you can find out about challenges to survival.

Life Histories
Snapshot of Survival
Crane chick #5-12 Crane chick #3-13
Hatch Year
Hatch Year
Hatch Year
 crane baby #12-05 Crane chick #8-10 Whooping Crane Chick
Hatch Year
Hatch Year
Hatch Year
Whooping crane chick Whooping crane chick Whooping Crane Chick
Hatch Year
Hatch Year
Hatch Year
Whooping Crane Chick Whooping Crane Chick Whooping Crane Chick
Hatch Year
Hatch Year
Hatch Year
Whooping Crane Chick Whooping Crane Chick Whooping Crane
Hatch Year
Hatch Year
Hatch Year

When Will They Reach the Goal?
The goal is 25 breeding pairs from 125 cranes released into the flyway by 2020. When do you predict they'll make the goal?


Journal Questions:

  • What is your favorite story about one of the cranes? Describe.
  • How many cranes did each year begin with? How many are still alive today?
  • How are people helping the cranes to survive?
  • According to the cranes' stories, what seems to be the most dangerous time in a crane's life?
  • Does survival seem more difficult 1) on the Wisconsin breeding grounds, 2) during fall migration, 3) on the Florida wintering grounds, or 4) during spring migration?
  • What happened to each of the cranes that did not survive?
  • Can you find examples of ways scientists were surprised by what they learned?
  • What have scientists learned about whooping crane survival since the reintroduction project began in 2001? Give specific examples.

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