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Funding from the Department of the Interior, Department of the Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service supported construction and expansion of a breeding facility at Audubon Center for Research of Endangered Species. Housed on the campus of the Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center the Research Center will be able to house seven breeding pairs of whooping cranes. Dow Chemical is the presenting sponsor of Audubon’s whooping crane recovery program, underwriting critical research and animal care efforts that will help restore this endangered species to its native Louisiana.
Once thriving, the whooping crane population has reached a dangerous low as only an estimated 400 are surviving in the wild and 170 are living in captivity. With the new space at the Research Center, Audubon hopes to increase the whooper's egg production by 20 percent—a monumental achievement for the rarest species of crane and North America's most endangered native bird.