A whooping crane egg has hatched at the Calgary Zoo’s Devonian Wildlife Conservation Centre near Dewinton. Although every year fertile eggs are sent to recovery partners in the U.S., this is the first chick to hatch at the zoo’s breeding facility in the last three years.
“The whooping crane chick is doing extremely well,” said area curator, Colleen Baird. “It is strong and showing signs of healthy development.”
This chick hatched from a total of six fertile eggs that the whooping cranes laid this year at the Centre. Five eggs will be sent to other facilities in North America to continue to supplement wild whooping crane populations. There are seven breeding pairs of whooping cranes at the Centre and one non-breeding pair on display at the zoo.
As the chick matures, the zoo’s animal care team will determine if it will be part of the ongoing whooping crane breeding program at the Centre or if it will be relocated to be a part of other breeding programs.
Whooping cranes are currently listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List and are one of three bird species in Canada in that category. Through the efforts of the Devonian Wildlife Conservation Centre, the Calgary Zoo is helping to ensure the long term survival of the species through participating in the conservation breeding program and species reintroduction efforts.