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Fri Aug 17, 2018, 11:26 AM

Operation Migration Resigns From WCEP & Dissolves Organization

Source: Operation Migration

Operation Migration took flight 25 years ago when two artists-turned-aviators developed a method of teaching birds a new migratory route. The innovative approach helped stabilize the dwindling population of the magnificent Whooping crane.

Bill Lishman and Joe Duff developed the aircraft-guided migration method into an effective means of reintroducing endangered Whooping cranes into an area they had not inhabited in over a century.


The aircraft-guided migration method was ended in the fall of 2015 when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published a document titled “FWS Vision for the Next 5-year Strategic Plan” that claimed the method was “too artificial.” They suggested that cranes raised by our costumed handlers resulted in inattentive parents that did not adequately protect their offspring.

We continued work for another 3 years based upon our belief that the goal of a self-sustaining Eastern Migratory Population of Whooping cranes was attainable. However, with new management directives authorized by the Whooping Crane Recovery Team and implemented by Region 3 of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, we no longer believe this goal to be achievable

Read more: http://operationmigration.org/InTheField/2018/08/17/operation-migration-resigns-from-wcep-dissolves-organization/

The article details Operation Migration's successes at re-introducing whooping cranes to areas where they had not been seen for decades. As Florida resident, I am happy to know that they brought whoopers back to my state. I hope the fragile population that return every year can survive.

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Reply Operation Migration Resigns From WCEP & Dissolves Organization (Original post)
csziggy Aug 2018 OP
BumRushDaShow Aug 2018 #1
csziggy Aug 2018 #2
BumRushDaShow Aug 2018 #4
OnlinePoker Aug 2018 #3

Response to csziggy (Original post)

Fri Aug 17, 2018, 11:31 AM

1. Hopefully those back in their old stomping grounds

will experience the "nature will find a way" adaptability to survive and then thrive there. It may take a few generations.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #1)

Fri Aug 17, 2018, 11:37 AM

2. Hopefully you're right

Originally they flew whoopers to Crystal River State Park but the birds really didn't like it there. Then they flew them to St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge where they did settle but they nested in wetlands outside the refuge. For a few years a pair were spotted every winter at a pond near Tallahassee until one year the female did not appear.

I haven't kept up with where they have been the last few years but there are a lot of wetlands here in the Panhandle and so far there have been no economic incentives to drain them. With any luck that will continue

I know that when we first bought our farm forty years ago wood storks were very rarely seen and the nesting location they had near us was well protected. It was a major event when the birds would fly over the ridge our farm is on in the evenings. Now wood storks are much more common and people don't gather to observe them the way they used to.

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Response to csziggy (Reply #2)

Fri Aug 17, 2018, 02:32 PM

4. I think many of the conservation rules and regs

since the '70s and '80s along with a number of organizations fighting to keep natural habitat in place (plus breeding programs) have really helped bring some of these creatures back from the brink. Heck... look at the bald eagle's comeback! We even have some (beyond the football team...lol) nesting right here in Philly.

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Fri Aug 17, 2018, 12:49 PM

3. That last paragraph is pretty telling.

As someone who contributed 2 miles a year for the journey south, I was disheartened when the FWS decided to go a different direction. From no birds, the population had risen to a 100 or so. Predation and idiot hunters did a number on the flock every year and the chosen Wisconsin nesting site at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge always had issues with black flies which contributed to poor nesting results. If they make it, I'll be happy, but I don't think it will happen based on the new methodology.

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