The whooping cranes have left and the Father Hupp Wildlife Management Area in Thayer County has reopened.
The Game and Parks Commission closed the park November 13th when six whooping cranes arrived. The commission says the cranes left Tuesday to continue their migration.
Whooping cranes are an endangered species with a population of only about 300. The entire population migrates through Nebraska each spring and fall between where they spend the winter along the Texas coast and their breeding areas in northern Alberta, Canada.
Game and Parks says the whooping cranes spent a longer time than normal in Nebraska at Father Hupp WMA, a total of 19 days. Work to restore the wetland at Father Hupp took place in 2013. Current management works to maintain a habitat for migratory birds.
“Without the collective efforts of a number of individuals and partners, the beneficial habitat these endangered birds enjoyed during their extended stay would not have been available to them,” said Scott Taylor, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s wildlife division administrator, in a written statement released by Game and Parks.
Partners on the wetland restoration project included Ducks Unlimited, the Rainwater Basin Joint Venture and the Nebraska Environmental Trust. A portion of the project was funded by a grant from the North American Wetlands Conservation Act.