Posted: Apr 15, 2014 4:16 PM by Russell Jones
LAFAYETTE - Crane experts delivered welcome news Tuesday for those concerned about the whooping crane population in Louisiana, announcing that a pair of cranes have produced eggs in Louisiana's wilds for the first time in more than 70 years.
The announcement was made at the 13th North American Crane Workshop in Lafayette, where experts from across North America and state officials had gathered to get updates on Louisiana's whooping crane flocks.
Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne also said as the crane population grew, so did the state's bird-watching population.
"Louisiana has become a strong competitor for birding-related tourism," said Dardenne. "Similarly, conservation efforts such as the reintroduction of the whooping crane to Louisiana since 2011 are positive steps toward ecotourism in our state."
Wildlife officials said since conservation efforts began in 2011, 50 whooping cranes have been released in Louisiana. Of those, 30 have survived.
The single nest with eggs in Vermilion Parish remains under observation by project biologists.