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Sandhill Crane Population Makes Recovery

Steve Garvie
Flickr/Creative Commons

Sandhill cranes have made a widespread regional recovery and been spotted more frequently in northern Illinois.

The cranes, which nearly disappeared from the Midwest, have returned by the thousands.


Researchers say the cranes are spending more time closer to Chicago, including Lake County.


Two dozen breeding pair of sandhill cranes lived in Wisconsin in the 1930s. Researchers estimate the upper Midwest population is now between 65,000 and 95,000.


Scientists say the biggest factor for the increase is the conservation and restoration of wetlands, marshes, and prairies, which is their preferred habitat for nesting and breeding.


According to a coordinated fall survey from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the population recovery has accelerated in the last decade, growing at a rate of 4.4 percent per year.