Five chicks hatch this year in whooping crane reintroduction project
BATON ROUGE - Five whooping crane chicks have hatched and fledged this summer, marking a major milestone for the state's whooping crane reintroduction project.
According to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, the first chicks hatched in 2016 with one chick fledging. In 2017, three chicks hatched with a single fledgling surviving.
LDWF says that whooping cranes are slow to mature and only lay one to two eggs during the spring.
“This year was a big step forward and we’re excited and pleased,’’ said Sara Zimorski, a LDWF biologist. “To see young birds producing their own fertile eggs and to be successful in raising a chick is a sure sign of progress. To have five chicks this year only two years after we had the first chick hatching, it’s a pretty significant jump. We hope we’ll continue to see improvement as we have more pairs that mature and start to breed.’’
Louisiana’s whooping crane reintroduction project began in 2011 when 10 whooping cranes were released to develop the non-migratory flock.