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Dec 11, 2013 6:41 PM by Akeam Ashford

10 Whooping Cranes Arrive in Vermilion Parish

Across the state, there's an effort to re-establish the endangered whooping crane population in Louisiana.

Since 2011, the state Department of Wildlife & Fisheries has released 40 whooping cranes in the state, but according to experts, there are just 23 still alive.

The cranes are only found in North America. There's an estimated 600 cranes left in the entire world, according to Wildlife & Fisheries Biologist Sarah Zimorski.

"They've literally recovered from the brink of extinction. At their lowest there were only 21, so being up to 600 is a great improvement, but 600 still isn't a lot of birds. We have a long way to go," Zimorski said.

In 1947 experts said there was just one whooping crane left in Louisiana. Twenty years later, in 1967, the federal government put the bird on the endangered species list.

Success of the project will take time. At least 130 cranes will need to survive in the wetlands for at least 10 years, before the species is taken off the endangered list.

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