- The current whooping crane population is only about 4% of its historic size. Fewer than 20 individuals remained in the wild in the 1940s; conservation efforts have raised that number to more than 400 in 2015.
- The whooping crane was listed as endangered in 1967 and some of its habitat protected. However, pollution and human water use still threaten cranes’ habitat.
- Shootings are a long-standing threat to whooping cranes. The 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act made it illegal to hunt whooping cranes. Yet between 2010 and 2015, at least 20 individuals were shot and killed in the United States.
- Collision with power lines is a threat during whooping cranes’ long migration. Marking power lines to make the wires more visible has been shown to help, but most power lines have not been marked.
What the AZA Community is Doing
- In the past five years alone, the AZA community has invested over $3.2 million in whooping crane conservation, plus an additional ~$70,000 to support organizations such as the AZA-accredited International Crane Foundation (ICF).
- AZA-accredited institutions are actively involved in projects such as reintroducing cranes to the wild.
- AZA SAFE will further these efforts by harnessing the collective power of the 229 AZA member institutions and our 180 million visitors, connecting partners, and creating and executing a conservation action plan to help whooping cranes in the wild.
How You Can Help
Spread the word! Let your friends and family know that whooping cranes need our help.
Visit: Your visit to an AZA-accredited zoo or aquarium not only supports the well-being of the animals you see, but also supports conservation efforts. Find an institution near you
Guess who? Download our free TailsUp! app and play with your friends. It’s free to download but offers in-app purchases – and 100% of AZA’s proceeds supports conservation work. Available on the iTunes store and Google Play.