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'Whooper' flocks limited to very few new chicks

Unusually cold weather in southeastern Idaho and drought in northwestern Canada made 1981 a very bad year for the whooping crane, an endangered species which during the 1970s had been making steady comeback from its 1930s population low of 20.

Wildlife officials report that none of the whooper chicks born into an experimental flock in Idaho survived the summer, while only three were apparently added to the single established wild flock, which summers in Canada. The main flock, which migrates between Canada and the Texas Gulf Coast, increased from 57 to 1970 to 78 last spring.

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