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Aircraft- guided Whooping Crane

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Sunday, November 17, 2013by Courtney
Ballard Nature Center will have a special speaker on Sunday, November 17 about aircraft-guided Whooping crane. Our current aircraft-guided Whooping crane migration began in Wisconsin on October 2nd and we have just arrived in Cumberland County, IL with eight 6 month old Whooping cranes. We're currently grounded by inclement weather and have an opportunity to speak to the local community about our work to safeguard endangered Whooping cranes. (I've attached a photo to give you a better idea of our work - A picture is worth a thousand words!)
 
Essentially, each year we guide a new generation of endangered Whooping cranes from Wisconsin to Florida - a journey of 1113 miles, which takes weeks to cover.
 
Joe Duff will be presenting a slideshow containing wonderful photos and videos describing the aircraft-guided Whooping Crane migration we are currently carrying out. Joe presents in an educational yet humorous fashion and tells how each of us can help wildlife and preserve the natural world many species need to survive. 
 
Joe is the lead pilot and co-founder of Operation Migration USA - a non-profit organization that carries out the migration each year, since 2001.
 
Whooping cranes were on the verge of extinction in the 1940s. Today, there are only about 600 birds in existence, approximately 445 of them in the wild. Aside from the 109 birds in the new eastern population, the only other migratory population of whooping cranes nests at Wood Buffalo National Park in northern Alberta, Canada and winters at Aransas NWR on the Texas Gulf Coast.
 
Adult Whooping cranes stand 5 ft. tall and have a 7 ft. wingspan... They are the icon of endangered species in North America.

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