The Whooping Crane: A Lesson on the Importance of Education

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Photo by szatmar666 | flickr.com

The Whooping Crane has been on the critically endangered species list for quite some time, and with only a limited number of birds in the wild, every animal is sacred. That’s why, when two cranes were shot and killed by two teenagers in October, it has become clear that more action is needed.

Robert Barham, secretary of wildlife and fisheries department commented: “Losing two cranes, especially in such a thoughtless manner, is a huge setback in the department’s efforts to re-establish a whooping crane population in Lousiana. [The department takes] this careless crime very seriously.”

In 1941, due to extensive hunting and destruction of habitat, only 21 of these birds survived in the wild. Alerted by such low numbers, scientists desperately stepped up conservation efforts, and what followed has truly been a preservation success story.

In fact, today, more than 300 Whooping Cranes have been successfully introduced to the wild, with many of these birds mating actively.

However, the fight isn’t over yet. With the news of the needless deaths of the two cranes, scientists have begun to realize that education to the public must play a huge role in successfully conserving animals.

Although it will never be clear if education and awareness would have saved the lives of the two cranes, it is obvious that lack of information to the public can severely impede conservation attempts.

Scientists need to integrate a public campaign into the conservation plans. The public needs to know that these animals are worth saving, and that every individual in a dwindling population counts. With this, I believe that the animals will get the attention and respect they deserve and need to successfully make a comeback on our planet.

To check out more information about the success of the Whooping Cranes’ comeback, and how you can help, click here.

Yoko Lu