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Winging it : a bold step toward the whooping crane's return

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dc.contributor.advisor Marcia Bartusiak. en_US McKenna, Philip Rood en_US
dc.contributor.other Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Graduate Program in Science Writing. en_US 2007-11-15T18:09:07Z 2007-11-15T18:09:07Z 2006 en_US 2006 en_US
dc.description Thesis (S.M. in Science Writing)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Humanities, Graduate Program in Science Writing, 2006. en_US
dc.description Includes bibliographical references (leaves 41-42). en_US
dc.description.abstract Since the fall of 2001, biologists have taught endangered whooping cranes how to migrate over a once-lost course stretching from the wetlands of central Wisconsin to the mud flats of Florida's Gulf Coast. Wildlife biologists did this through an unusual method of reintroduction: training the endangered birds to follow behind ultralight airplanes for the entire 1,200-mile journey. The technique is highly invasive and expensive, but by the summer of 2005, it had established the first population of whooping cranes migrating east of the Mississippi in more than one hundred years. To supplement these ultralight-led migrations, crane biologists tried a new approach in the fall of 2005. Biologists with the International Crane Foundation of Baraboo, Wisconsin, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released four captive-bred whooping cranes directly into the wild. Biologists hoped that there were enough graduates of the ultralight program already making the migration for a few first timers to simply follow the older birds south. But no one knew if this bold new experiment, which relied entirely on the young birds following older non-related birds, would work. This thesis follows a year in the life of Maya, Poe, Waldo and Jumblies-the first four "Direct Autumn Release" birds. en_US
dc.description.abstract (cont.) The story begins with their parent's artificial insemination in the spring of 2005, describes their last-minute Thanksgiving-Day departure, and follows their successful southern migrations through Tennessee and Florida. The thesis relates the concerns of the biologists, who spent countless hours raising and tracking these birds. It also recounts historic episodes in the 80-year ongoing effort to save Grus Americana, the whooping crane, while providing a larger significance for why the conservation of biodiversity is needed now more than ever. en_US
dc.description.statementofresponsibility by Philip Rood McKenna. en_US
dc.format.extent 42 leaves en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Massachusetts Institute of Technology en_US
dc.rights M.I.T. theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission. See provided URL for inquiries about permission. en_US
dc.subject Graduate Program in Science Writing. en_US
dc.title Winging it : a bold step toward the whooping crane's return en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US Science Writing en_US
dc.contributor.department Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Graduate Program in Science Writing. en_US
dc.identifier.oclc 86071560 en_US

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