Saving the Whooping Crane

photo by Joel Sartore

The whooping crane is a rare creature, with its abnormally long legs, and distinct call. In North America, there are approximately 340 cranes living in the wild. And that number, despite numerous conservation efforts, seems to be dwindling.

photo by Joel Sartore

The whooping crane is a creature of habitat, and depends on a stable environment for food and nesting. The crane has made its permanent home in a National Park in Canada, known as the Whooping Crane Summer Range.

photo by Joel Sartore

During the winter, the whooping cranes migrate towards the Gulf coast near Texas, a fact which has many environmentalist worried considering the crane’s low population. In the Gulf of Mexico the oil spill is already affecting many of the local species, beaching hundreds of oil covered birds and forcing foraging birds, such as the pelican, to readjust their feeding patterns.

The long term affects that this spill will have on the wildlife, the environment, and ultimately on the whooping crane is urgent concern. The marshes and coastlines, if touched by the oil, will become depleted of the food that is the very essence of survival for the wildlife that lives there.

But, all hope is not lost. Multiple individuals and organizations are mobilizing to fight to protect the land and wildlife that are endangered by the oil spill.

You can help, visit The International Bird Rescue Research Center.