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May 1, 2001

Heather Ray of Operation Migation, a WCEP Partner

Good to Go!

Meet Heather Ray, who will be sending updates to us for the next 12 months for our Whooping Crane Timeline. Heather says, "From the beginning it has been an ambitious task:

  • Develop a method to teach migration routes to endangered Whooping cranes;
  • Work out the behavioral techniques needed to encourage the birds to follow our ultralight aircraft over 1200 miles;
  • Conduct the entire study in isolation to keep the birds from associating with humans;
  • Convince governments of both Canada and United States that the scheme would work.


"And that was only the beginning! Once the idea was accepted, introduction sites were found, and a preliminary study with non-endangered Sandhill cranes was conducted (2000/01) to test the procedures. Most daunting of all -- approval was sought from two countries, including two Provinces, two Flyway Councils and twenty States. By any measure, the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP), a consortium of nine government and private agencies, has accomplished a great deal in the two years of its existence."

All the efforts are worth it--because now there's new hope for the future of an endangered species.

But whooping crane chicks hatch in the spring, and that means the WCEP Project Direction Team has a tight deadline. Here we go!


Journey North is pleased to feature this educational adventure made possible by the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership.

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