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Reintroduction of Migratory Population in Eastern United States
Reintroduction of migratory whooping cranes to the eastern U.S. began in 2000. The purpose of the reintroduction is to establish a migratory population of whooping cranes that breeds in the upper Midwest and migrates to the southeast for winter.
The Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership, a group of non-profit organizations and government agencies is conducting the reintroduction project. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is one member of the Partnership.
Partners agree to modify rearing and release methods to improve success (PDF)
FWS Vision for the Next 5-year Strategic Plan 8-page PDF (Oct. 15, 2015)
USFWS Statement about Vision for Next 5 Years (Oct. 16, 2015)
To reintroduce whooping cranes to eastern North America, we (the Service) formally proposed establishing a Nonessential Experimental Population by publishing the proposal in the Federal Register. The reintroduction proposal was identified as the preferred alternative in a corresponding Environmental Assessment. The Federal Register publication of the proposal and Notice of Availability of the Environmental Assessment opened a public comment period. After the comment period closed, we reviewed and analyzed all the comments that were received, then prepared a final rule based on that analysis. The Final Rule establishing the Nonessential Experimental Population was published in the Federal Register on June 26, 2001. Links to the Final Rule and Environmental Assessment are below.
The Final Rule designates a whooping crane Nonessential Experimental Population within a 20-state area in the eastern U.S. We believe the Nonessential Experimental Population status will adequately protect this whooping crane population, while still allowing the presence of the cranes to be compatible with routine human activities in the proposed reintroduction area.
Last updated: January 26, 2016