Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsBirds

SCIENCE FILE

Whooping Cranes in Florida Lay Eggs, Raising Hopes for a Comeback

April 15, 1999

Two whooping cranes have produced the first eggs laid in the U.S. wild in decades, raising hopes that the birds will make a comeback after nearly being wiped out, federal officials said this week. The 4-year-old cranes are part of an experimental flock raised in captivity and placed in central Florida's Kissimmee Prairie. None had previously produced eggs.

Once, thousands of whooping cranes soared across the United States. But settlers drained marshes and plowed prairies, destroying the crane's habitat. By 1938, only two small flocks remained: one that nested in Canada and wintered in Texas, and another that lived in Louisiana. Researchers desperate to save the birds from extinction found the Canadian birds' nesting grounds and, beginning in the late 1960s, started taking eggs to try to resurrect the species by raising birds in captivity.

*

Compiled by Times medical writer Thomas H. Maugh II

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|