From Dr. Glenn Olsen:
The last whooping cranes going to a release program from Patuxent have now left. We were sad to see them go. We started rearing whooping cranes for release in 1993, first for the Florida project, then for Wisconsin (including all the ultralight birds released in Wisconsin) and also for the past 7 years for the Louisiana release.
I recently counted up the whooping cranes currently in the different populations in the wild, and based on the numbers supplied by the various folks monitoring the populations, fully 35% of whooping cranes in the wild were captive reared released birds. Looking at theses captive reared birds in the wild, 63% were reared at Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. We are going to miss helping everyone out with rearing whooping cranes for release and doing the research required to produce a self-sustaining population.