Take Action to Preserve Wildlife in the Great Lakes

Did you know that whooping cranes find partners for life? (Photo credit: Steve Szabo)
For people living in the Great Lakes area, the whooping crane is an iconic species. In the mid-1880s, 1,400 cranes would migrate between Canada and the upper Midwest down to the Texas Gulf Coast and across the Southeastern U.S. each year. By 1940, however, only 20 cranes were recorded in making the annual migration. In order to keep protecting the whooping crane and the other important species of the Great Lakes region, action needs to be taken to protect the Great Lakes habitat itself.

Much More than a Body of Water

The crane’s name derives from its “whoop” or honking call, which has become a familiar sound to the people of the Great Lakes. A native to North America, the crane can grow up to five feet in length and has a wingspan of more than seven feet. The whooping crane is an important part of the Great Lakes ecosystem,  but due in part to habitat destruction and human development these beautiful birds were on the brink of extinction.

With the help of non-profits and government organizations, the number of whooping cranes has grown to about 570, and is still growing. But in order to continue protecting whooping cranes and other waterfowl, we need to continue to protect all of the Great Lakes.

Show your Support on Great Lakes Day

On February 28-29, 2012, citizens working to protect the Great Lakes region will assemble for the big event of the year called Great Lakes Day. Passionate citizens from the 8 Great Lakes states (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin) come together with lawmakers from Capitol Hill to discuss the Lakes’ ecological importance. In addition, clean water advocates, like the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition, collaborate with the Great Lakes Commission and Northeast-Midwest Institute and host training sessions for advocates on the need for continued funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

With the possibility of more budget cuts for participating organizations, we need to bring a message to the Hill: the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is a sound investment that produces results. The preservation of these iconic bodies of water means the conservation of numerous species, including the whooping crane, that depend on healthy waters to prosper.

Support NWF’s efforts to save whooping cranes by fighting to protect these important lakes.