LDWF releases fourth cohort of whooping cranes

Staff Writer
Plaquemine Post South

BATON ROUGE - Juvenile whooping cranes, delivered to White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area in Gueydan last month, were recently released into the wild.

The 10 young cranes join 23 adults, which are part of an experimental population being monitored by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

The cranes arrived in southwest Louisiana on Dec. 11 from the U.S. Geological Survey Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, Md. LDWF is working to establish a non-migratory population in the state.

The whooping crane is protected under the federal Endangered Species and Migratory Bird Treaty Acts and by state law. Anyone encountering a whooping crane is advised to observe the bird from a distance.

Whooping cranes are large-bodied, white birds similar to white ibis, white pelicans, and wood storks, all of which must be distinguished from legally hunted snow geese.

However, a red head and black facial markings along with a height of five feet and a wingspan of 7-to-8 feet make them very distinctive.

In flight, whooping cranes display black wing tips and fully extended neck and legs, which extend well beyond the tail.