For a while it looked as though the whooping crane would follow the passenger pigeon into extinction. Decline in its numbers was so alarming that there appeared to be little or no hope. In 1941 only 21 were known to be alive. But an enormous rescue effort began and by 1968 the number had risen to 48, and to 59 in 1971. However in 1973 there was a terrible set back and only 43 birds remained. Once again it was thought that extinction was imminent and conservation efforts were redoubled. Again the whooping crane population rose and today there are 96 known to be living in the wild. What is more important, there are now two distinct populations in the wild and this is in addition to a captive flock. We now know something about their biology and we can afford to be a little more optimistic about their future though they are by no means “out of the woods” yet.
KeywordsWinter Ground Nest Ground Marshy Area Great Slave Lake Whooping Crane
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