The whooping crane is one of the most successful conservation stories of the world. A long time ago, it could be seen almost all over the North American prairies.
With increasing human population, the birdís habitat got degraded. Hunting for its meat, eggs and long, white feathers added to its woes. Its population reduced from over 1,500 in the 1800s to just about 20 in 1941!
The Arkansas National Wildlife Refuge created in 1937 and the Wood Buffalo National Park then became important areas for the birdís conservation.
Biologists removed one egg from each clutch and took them to a research centre. There the eggs were hatched by sandhill cranes for the first 20 days. Then they were exposed to the sounds of adult whooping cranes.
The new eastern migratory flock today consists of around 63 birds while the western natural one numbers around 237.