CAMERON, LA (KPLC) - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is proposing to reintroduce non-migratory whooping cranes into Southwest Louisiana.
The proposal is part of the recovery effort for the highly imperiled species, which was on the verge of extinction in the 1940s and even today has only about 395 individuals in the wild (550 worldwide).
Whooping cranes roamed the wetlands of Louisiana during the early 1900s.
In 1940 a hurricane came and washed water over the landscape and the birds were forced to move north.
"We're very excited about this project because it's been 60 years since we've had whooping cranes in Southwest Louisiana," said Hess. "
LDWF officials have been doing extensive research on bringing the whooping cranes back to Louisiana.
According to their studies, the wetlands will provide a vast amount of food, water, and shelter.
"It's important to establish another group of birds to a shore that they don't become extinct," said Hess.
The reintroduction of the cranes is still under proposal and they are seeking public comment on the issue.
If approved, Wildlife and Fisheries is hoping to release the whooping cranes as early as February.