Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologists released 16 whooping cranes at White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WCA) Tuesday, December 27.
The species is endangered and only about 500 are left in the world.
Ten whooping cranes were released in March 2011, but only three survived. Now biologists hope the new group of cranes will survive so the crane population can come back to Louisiana.
LDWF Division Administrator Robert Love said people need to be aware of these endangered birds.
"The birds have significant challenges making it on their own with predation and disease, and learning to adapt to the environment," Love said. "We certainly don't need to throw more obstacles their way with people shooting them or harassing them."
Love said the goal of the crane releases is to eventually see a population of 130 whooping cranes nesting in Louisiana.
"We're very fortunate to have the opportunity to bring them back to Louisiana. It's part of our natural heritage," Love said. "Because there are so few, it's really a special treasure for us to bring them back to Louisiana. We're proud to be able to participate in that."
For more information on the re-introduction of the whooping cranes, visit the Wildlife and Fisheries website.