A Call to Save the Whooping Crane

Smithsonian researchers join an international effort to bring the five-foot-tall bird back from the brink of extinction

To prevent young birds from imprinting on humans, flock manager Jane Chandler dons a white gown and a mask. She uses a puppet to teach them survival skills. (Susana Raab)
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Even if researchers manage to increase fertility rates, the whooping crane is likely to remain endangered for “many years to come,” says Marshall Jones, a senior conservation adviser at SCBI. In the meantime, though, 437 whooping cranes are reportedly living in the wild. “It’s certainly been a success,” says Jones. “But it’s taken a concentrated international effort, with people from lots of institutions, spending almost their whole careers just working on whooping cranes.”


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