Bringing Back the Cranes
Comparing Ranges and Exploring Reintroduction
1. Get acquainted with the historic and current ranges
of the Whooping crane:
- Locate the
CURRENT summering and wintering areas for the main (Western)
flock, which until 2001 was the world's only existing wild
migratory population. Do you
find Wood Buffalo National Park in Canada (summer nesting/breeding
grounds) and Aransas
NWR on the Texas Gulf Coast (winter
- Locate the
Whooping cranes' FORMER breeding and wintering areas.
- Use an atlas
or the refuge's map to
new (reintroduced) *Eastern flock's summer breeding
territory at Necedah (say "Nuh
SEED uh") NWR in Wisconsin. (It's near Baraboo, location
of the International Crane Foundation.)
- Use an atlas
or the refuge's
map to locate the
new (reintroduced) Eastern flock's wintering home (not shown)
NWR on central Florida's Gulf Coast.
Discuss: What other states might have been chosen for the new flock's summering
and wintering homes? How do you think Necedah and Chassohowitzka were chosen? (See
below for an activity if you want to dig deeper.)
Draw an extension to include Canada on the classroom map you'll use for
satellite tracking the Eastern flock this spring. Indicate the
for the Aransas/Wood Buffalo flock (Western flock). With the
help of sighting reports in our spring updates, you can loosely
track the Western flock's migration by adding self-adhesive notes
telling dates of sightings that we'll share in upcoming reports.
Along with your satellite tracking, you may wish to chart facts
to help you compare the migrations of the Western flock and the
new Eastern flock.
This! Dig Deeper
This activity explores the process behind choosing Wisconsin and
Florida as the summer and winter homes for the new Eastern reintoduced
This! Discussion or Journaling Question
- Even though
they are members of an endangered species, the new Eastern flock is designated
as a Nonessential Experimental Population (NEP) -- "experimental"
because it will be isolated from other populations of whooping cranes, and "nonessential" because
these whoopers will not be essential to the survival of the entire
species. Under this NEP designation, the reintroduced whooping cranes
will not receive full Endangered Species protection. This designation
was made because it allows greater
management flexibility. It also resolves some possible conflicts
beween human activities and Whooping crane conservation. What
possible conflicts can you think of? After
discussion, state your own definition of Nonessential Experimental
more about NEP
the NEP region on the map above at right (blue area).
of the new Eastern flock will be a 10- to 15-year effort. The
goal is a flock of 125 birds in Wisconsin by 2020, including
25 nesting pairs.
North is pleased to feature this educational adventure presented in cooperation
Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP).