A big whoop! Crane chicks will hatch on-line: Go to whoopers.USGS.gov

WHAT: How do you help an endangered species return to the wild? One way is raise the young in captivity - while keeping them as wild as possible -- and then release them in the wild. You are invited to an online site to watch this actual journey unfold as whooping crane chicks hatch and grow. Some will live, but, as in nature, a few may die. The day-to-day lives of these endangered chicks will be chronicled with photographs and explanations of the innovative rearing procedures used by scientists, veterinarians, and technicians. A new colony of whooping cranes is being established in Florida from cranes raised by these procedures. In March, for the first time ever, one of the adult cranes raised from a chick by the U.S. Geological Survey was part of a pair that successfully hatched their own chicks in the wilds of Florida.

WHO: Whooping crane chicks, USGS researchers in Maryland, and you.

WHERE: On April 27, go to whoopers.usgs.gov . The expected date of the first hatching is May 2, but you should check our site daily from April 27 on for a whooper chick countdown! Learn exciting facts about cranes everyday.

YOUR PART: After the chicks hatch, you are invited to vote on names for the chicks. Send in questions about how researchers rear and care for the cranes they raise.

WHEN: Countdown starts April 27! Updates will be given daily for two weeks after hatching, then periodically thereafter as chicks grow and fledge. Some of the chicks will go to Florida to help re-establish a second wild flock of whooping cranes in the United States.

PARTNERS: Partners in the whooping crane recovery effort include the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Calgary Zoo, the International Crane Foundation, the Canadian Wildlife Service, and Earthwatch volunteers.

COOL FACTS ABOUT RAISING CRANES: (Watch for These and Other Facts on th

Contact: Nelson Beyer
United States Geological Survey

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