The Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP) is a group of non-profit organizations and government and state agencies formed to restore a migratory population of Whooping Cranes to eastern North America. WCEP is just one element of a diverse strategy to save Whooping Cranes from extinction.
On January 22, 2016, USFWS announced recommendations modifying WCEP’s methods for Whooping Crane rearing and release. While the program was successful in building the number of migrating Whooping Cranes in the eastern U.S., very few of the cranes were successfully breeding. Therefore, USFWS made the decision to shift the focus from rearing chicks “artificially” with costumed handlers, to early contact and learning with adult Whooping Cranes.
Recently the International Crane Foundation (ICF) answered questions about these changes and what they mean for Whooping Cranes and our investment in the species and the International Cane Foundation. Following is a list of the questions covered:
- What is “WCEP” and what is the International Crane Foundation’s role in this partnership?
- What is WCEP’s goal? Is it actually achievable?
- What changes in crane releases did the USFWS recommend for WCEP?
- Who made the decision to end the ultralight migrations and why?
- Do these changes from USFWS mean something went wrong with the WCEP project?
- What’s next for the International Crane Foundation and Whooping Cranes?
To read ICF’s post of the Questions and Answers please click here. Or, to contact ICF with any further questions please click here.