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Article updated: 10/30/2013 10:21 AM

Wisconsin whooping cranes released to fly south

In this 2010 photo, whooping cranes follow an ultralight aircraft from Wisconsin to the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge in Florida.

In this 2010 photo, whooping cranes follow an ultralight aircraft from Wisconsin to the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge in Florida.

 

www.operationmigration.org

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By Associated Press

MAYVILLE, Wis. -- Two groups of Wisconsin-raised whooping cranes have been released to fly toward warmer climates for the winter.

Nine were released last Thursday from the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge in Dodge County near some older whooping cranes from which they will learn the migration route south.

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On Oct. 2, eight young whooping cranes left the White River Marsh State Wildlife Area in Green Lake County. They are being led south by ultralight planes operated through Operation Migration. They were in Winnebago County, Ill. as of Tuesday and are expected to arrive at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge in Florida by the end of the year.

Both efforts are done through Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership, an international coalition of public and private groups reintroducing the species in eastern North America.

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