The Whooping Crane

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The Whooping Crane Habitat/Location Currently, the majority of Whooping Cranes naturally live in Wood Buffalo National Park of Alberta and Northwest Territories, Canada. (These Whooping Cranes are considered to be in the Western flock.) Whooping Cranes reside in mostly bogs, marshes, and other swampy areas; these areas are populated with trees like White Spruce and populated with trees like White Spruce and wetland autotrophs such as Cattails and Muskgrass. At the end of summer, this flock of Whooping Cranes heads toward the Gulf Coast of Texas or near the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. During migration, they stop at wetlands and croplands. Recently in 2001, an Eastern flock of Whooping Cranes has been reintroduced. This second flock habits in Wisconsin for nesting and migrates to Florida for wintering. There are also some small populations of Whooping cranes that are non-migratory and they mainly live on the coast of Louisiana and central regions of Florida. Population The earliest record of the population of the natural Western flock of Whooping Cranes was 22 in 1941. Over the course of 72 years, the population has increased to 283 (direct count). This flock has a population growth of 3.7% and increased more than 35% over the last decade. The Eastern flock originally had a population of nine in 2001. As of January 2013, the population count rose to 114. Presently, the total population of both captive and wild Whooping Cranes is 699. Threats Loss of crucial wetlands, disturbance of nests during breeding season, and illegal shooting may greatly threaten Whooping Cranes. Freshwater has been diminishing in Texas wintering grounds and the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge area often has boats that transport petrochemicals; this hugely increases the chance of a chemical spill. The bulk of the area Whooping Cranes live is very isolated and vulnerable to

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