While whooping cranes have never been known to be super-abundant, it has been estimated that their numbers in North America in the mid-1800’s were in the 1300-1500 range. But by the early 1940’s there were only 22 wild whooping cranes left in the world – 16 in the migratory flock and 6 non-migratory birds in Louisiana. The 6 non-migratory ones perished over the course of that decade, leaving only the wild migratory flock of 16 birds to represent the species. It is thought that the disturbance and loss of wetland habitats across North America over time – critical for their nesting – was a significant factor in the population’s decline.

History and Ecological Monitoring of Whooping Cranes in Wood Buffalo National Park
A Whooping Crane Mystery!
Back from the Brink of Extinction