This past summer 10 young “isolation-raised” whooping cranes were brought to the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge in Central Wisconsin to serve as the seed stock for a migratory whooper population. Once they were old enough, the birds were taught to fly by pilots flying ultralight aircraft, the same ultralights that led six of them on an epic migratory flight to Florida this fall. Seven cranes reached their wintering grounds at the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge, 65 miles north of St. Petersburg (the 7th crane was transported by vehicle) on December 3, 2001. We wish the cranes a restful winter, and we look forward to their (hopeful) return to Wisconsin in the spring. It is hoped that eventually 50 pairs of whoopers will be re-established in Wisconsin.
For more information on this historic program, visit any of the following websites: