The Whooping Crane was placed on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife List of Endangered Species on this date in 1970. The tallest bird in North America, the whooping crane’s historical breeding range extended from Illinois through North Dakota and into Canada. Once plentiful, loss of habitat and hunting led to an all-time population low of only fifteen birds in 1941. The crane was one of the first birds to be listed on the Endangered Species Act of 1966. By the 1970s, the population had risen to nearly sixty. The largest flock migrates between Texas and Canada, flying through western North Dakota each spring. North Dakota Game and Fish reported a sighting in March, and it’s believed that with continued conservation efforts, sightings will continue to rise.
Dakota Datebook written by Jayme Job