November 25, 2002
Ultralight-led migration of 16 endangered whooping cranes, which began on October 13 at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge in Wisconsin headed for Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge in Florida, arrived in Pike County today, Monday, November 25, 2002
Joe Duff, Richard van Heuvelen, Brooke Pennypacker and Bill Lishman - Ultralight Pilots, Operation Migration, Inc.
Tuesday, November 26, 2002 - 6:30 a.m. - Brief interviews and photo opportunities with the pilots and biologists -- footage of the birds and ultralight at take-off.
Pike County (see directions below)
This seven state, 1,250-mile migration is the second experimental attempt to establish a migratory flock of endangered whooping cranes into the eastern United States. In 2001, the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP) led seven whooping crane chicks behind ultralight aircraft to Florida and five successfully made the unassisted return to central Wisconsin this past spring. One of those five cranes has just returned unassisted to Florida to winter. Whooping cranes were on the verge of extinction in the 1940s. Today, there are still only about 260 birds in the wild. For the study to be successful, pilots and biologists must maintain the cranes "wildness." This means they cannot make any human noises such as coughing or talking, and they dress in costumes to mask their human form and use adult crane puppet heads to mimic adult bird behaviors. The work of Operation Migration, Inc. was featured in the film Fly Away Home.
visit www.mapquest.com and type in the mailing address to get different maps.
For recent pictures go to: http://www.fws.gov/r4gafo/hot_issues/release_GES_02-013.html
NOTE: You can view our releases or subscribe to receive them -- via e-mail -- at the Service's Southeast Regional home page at http://southeast.fws.gov. Our national home page is at: http://news.fws.gov/newsreleases/.
Atlanta, GA 30345