Reintroduction of Whooping Cranes to Southwest Louisiana

Project Description

The southwest corner of Louisiana was once an important area of the whooping crane’s winter range and until the mid-twentieth century, the home of the United States’ last resident whooping crane colony. Due to their historical presence in Louisiana, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) plans to establish a self-sustaining whooping crane population on and around White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WLWCA) located in Vermilion parish, in southwest Louisiana. The goals of the project are to establish a self-sustaining whooping crane population on and around WLWCA. A ...

Project Map

Publicly Accessible: Yes
County: Vermilion Parish, LA
Project Size:
  • 70.0 acres

Project Sites

  • White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area

Goals and Targets

Primary Motivations:

  • Conservation Mission
    To establish a self-sustaining Whooping crane population in southwest Louisiana and ultimately lead the species to be down listed from and endangered species to a threatened species.

Primary Goals:

  • Develop a Memorandum of Understanding between the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service defining responsibilities of each agency.
    Progress: Completed
  • Develop a detailed project proposal.
    Progress: Completed
  • Hold public hearings (Baton Rouge and Gueydan, LA) in accordance with USFWS proposed rule requirements.
    Progress: Completed September 2010
  • Build a soft release pen to hold Whooping cranes.
    Progress: Completed October 2010
  • Department of Interior Final Rule: Fish and Wildlife Service; 50 CFR Part 17 for the reintroduction.
    Progress: Final Rule should be published by Feb. 1, 2011
  • Transfer Whooping cranes from Patuxent Wildlife Research Center to Louisiana.
    Progress: The transfer of the birds is tentatively set for Feb 2011
  • Moitor daily crane activities
    Progress: Daily monitoring efforts will be implemented by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and Louisiana State University staff immediately upon the birds arrival.
  • Monitor >3 times per week for the life of the birds. Questions to be answered by this research include, but are not limited to, food preference, sensitivity to disturbance etc.
    Progress: Research will begin immediately upon the birds arrival.

Consistent With Plans:

  • Species Recovery Plan
    This project will align with strategies incorporated in the Whooping Crane Recovery Plan.

Targeted Habitats:

  • Wetlands and Riparian Habitats
    • Marshes, Bogs and Emergent Wetlands

Targeted Species:

  • Whooping Crane Grus americana

Conservation Actions

Action Status Start Year End Year
Reintroduce native species Proposed 2010 2010
Reintroduce Whooping cranes

Outcomes

Is the success of this project's actions being monitored? Yes

Monitoring Activities
Yes, by the Whooping crane recovery team.

Quick Facts

Owning Organization

Wildlife Conservation Society

Managing Organization

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
(State Government)

Contact Information

General Information

Project #: 15660
Last Updated: March 20, 2011

Project Relations

Partners

Audubon Center for Research of Endangered Species
International Crane Foundation
Louisiana State University
Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation
United States Fish and Wildlife Service
United States Geological Survey-Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Whooping Crane Recovery Team

Links

http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wildlife/whooping-cranes
USFWS FAQ

Copyright © 2018 NatureServe. All Rights Reserved.