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Flight WaysLife and Loss at the Edge of Extinction$
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Thom van Dooren

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231166188

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231166188.001.0001

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Breeding Cranes

Breeding Cranes

The Violent-Care of Captive Life

Chapter:
(p.87) Four Breeding Cranes
Source:
Flight Ways
Author(s):

Thom van Dooren

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231166188.003.0004

This chapter looks at what possibilities could emerge from a strange space of captivity by observing the captive lives of whooping cranes. Once numerous across North America, by the early twentieth century, the number of whooping cranes had been reduced to fewer than twenty birds due to hunting and wetland loss. In order to conserve these remaining birds, the United States and Canada run a captive breeding program that will both ensure the maintenance of valuable genetic diversity and produce young birds to create free-living populations. Despite these good intentions, the captive birds have been required to live in strange and diminished environments, and be exposed to ongoing stresses, including the artificial insemination conducted on them.

Keywords:   captivity, Whooping Cranes, North America, wetland loss, hunting, United States, Canada, genetic diversity, artificial insemination

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