Ten whooping crane chicks that may go on a historic flight through part of the Midwest this fall are about to start flying lessons. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Chuck Quirmbach reports:
Ten whooping crane chicks that may go on a historic flight through part of the Midwest this fall are about to start flying lessons. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Chuck Quirmbach reports.
Public and private sector wildlife experts are trying to set up the first migrating flock of whooping cranes in the Eastern U.S. the plan is to have the birds learn their migration route this October by following ultra-light aircraft from Wisconsin to Florida. Ten two-month old whooping crane chicks have just finished the first step of the experiment at a federal wildlife center in Maryland. Joan Guilfoyle of the u-s fish and wildlife service says the chicks went through ground school.
“Right from coming out of the egg they were exposed to sounds of ultra light engines, being able to see people in costumes disguised as adult whoopers, so they would begin to associate their care and protection with those two things.”
Now the crane chicks have been brought by private plane to
Wisconsin, where ultra light pilots wearing crane costumes will give the birds flying lessons. Many of the same people worked on a test migration with smaller but more plentiful sandhill cranes last year. Guilfoyle says there are some behavioral differences between sandhills and whoopers.
“One of them is sandhills tend to migrate in groups more than whoopers…so we will learn the right number to group…may be all ten of them together or they may end up in two groups.”
A century ago, it’s believed about one thousand whooping cranes roamed parts of North America. Today, the species is endangered. The only remaining migrating flock of whoopers numbers about one hundred and seventy five. That flock spends its summers in Canada, before heading to Texas for the winter. If the human-assisted migration in Wisconsin is successful this fall, scientists hope to continue the reintroduction. And they say they could have as many as 25 breeding pairs of whooping cranes living in the Wisconsin to Florida flock within the next ten years.” For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, this is Chuck Quirmbach in Milwaukee.
A sport fish native to the Great Lakes region is famous for its looks and its size, but overfishing and habitat loss have driven its numbers down. Now, some fish experts are helping the coaster brook trout make a comeback. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Rebecca Williams reports:
A sport fish native to the Great Lakes region is famous for its looks and its size… but over fishing and habitat loss have driven its numbers down. Now, some fish experts are helping the coaster brook trout make a comeback. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Rebecca Williams reports:
Coaster brook trout, or coasters, cruise the near shore waters of Lake Superior most of their lives, and only swim into rivers to spawn. Male coasters turn vibrant red when they’re spawning. And the trout grow much larger than their inland relatives… an 8 pound fish is a trophy.
But coasters are rare, so Trout Unlimited is working with other scientists to boost their numbers. In the last 2 years, biologists have released baby coasters in 4 rivers in the Upper Peninsula.
Bill Deephouse is president of Trout Unlimited’s Copper Country chapter.
“You can’t protect all of these little creatures. So you put… and this certainly isn’t exact… but you put 10,000 fish in, you hope a few thousand of them make it. Maybe a few hundred make it to adulthood.”
The biologists say it may be some time before fishermen will feel one of the reintroduced coasters on the end of their lines. For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, I’m Rebecca Williams.
Ann van Dyk isthe
director and owner of the De Wildt Cheetah Center in South Africa. Her
efforts to breed cheetahs in captivity have been recognized as thechief
reason the cheetah is no longer on the endangered species list.
cheetah basks in the sun at De Wildt. More than 500 cubs have beenraised
at De Wildt since the center opened in 1971.
Zoos in North America have been working with
a small farm in South Africa to save one of the
fastest animals on earth. In the first report of a
two-part series… the Great Lakes Radio
Consortium’s Lester Graham reports… the effort
has helped restore populations of cheetahs in the
wild and in zoos:
A pair of cheetahs in a gamepark
in Swaziland are protected from hunters. However, there are few places left
in the wild for the sleek cats.
This cheetah was born and bred at
the De Wildt Cheetah Center in South Africa. Its home is now the Saint
Louis Zoo where it's part of a 'Species Survival Plan.'
Although the cheetah was removed from the endangered species
list more than a decade ago… zoos are still breeding the animal in
captivity. In the second report of a two part series… the Great Lakes
Radio Consortium’s Lester Graham reports… along with a cheetah center
in Africa… the zoos plan to keep producing cheetahs in case something
happens to the animal in the wild:
In the 1960’s, the bald eagle was in trouble. There were only about 4
hundred birds living in the U-S And in some states, pollution had wiped
them out altogether. But the bald eagle has made an impressive comeback.
The U-S Fish and Wildlife Service recently announced plans to remove it from
the endangered species list. As the Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Karen
Kelly reports, it’s good news for the scientists who fought to save this
A coalition of industries, institutions and individuals is making sure
that a piece of their state’s natural heritage is returned. The Great
Lakes Radio Consortium’s Bill Flynn reports on the
three-hundred-thousand dollar New York River Otter Project:
From a bird blind, Ronald Westemeier observes Greater Prairie Chickens on the booming ground. He spent his career trying to save the bird in Illinois.
The Greater Prairie Chicken used to live in the grasslands of nearly all the Great Lakes States. Now it's limited to a few areas. (photo courtesy Illinois DNR)
The Greater Prairie Chicken was once common throughout the Great Lakes
region, but now it’s disappeared from states like Pennsylvania, Ohio,
and Indiana. While some flocks have survived in Minnesota and
Wisconsin, Prairie Chickens in Illinois are in trouble. Several
management plans have failed and now conservationists are actively
working to save the few remaining birds. The Great Lakes Radio
Consortium’s Lester Graham has the story:
In the 1960’s, the peregrine falcon population was virtually wiped out.
Today, there are about 2 hundred pairs living east of the Rocky
Mountains. The federal government says the species is no longer in
danger. But as the Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Karen Kelly reports,
biologists who work with these birds disagree:
Scientists are concerned about a world-wide decline in amphibian
populations. But one scientist has been bringing a frog back to its
native habitat. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Lester Graham reports
the Wood frog is once again thriving in an area where it was pushed out
more than 75 years ago:
Wolves have made a spectacular recovery the past twenty years through
protection by the federal endangered species act. But now the
State of Minnesota is debating a public hunting and trapping season. The
Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Nick Van Der Puy reports.