Irreplaceable: Wildlife in a Warming World

Feature:
Irreplaceable Wildlife in A Warming World
Graphic of irreplacable species, emperor penguin.
We are connected to each other, to our environment. From faraway places to our own backyard. But climate change is now changing the Earth as we know it, and animals and plants from the Arctic to the Everglades are feeling the consequences.
Key Resources:

Whooping Crane

The tallest birds in North America, whooping cranes establish lifelong mates and maintain their bonds through courtship dances and displays.
Photo Credit:
Joel Sartore / ILCP (Part of Irreplaceable Wildlife Photo Exhibit)
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Whooping Crane

Scientific Name: 
Grus americana
IUCN Red List: 
Endangered
Endangered Species Act List: 
Endangered

Named for their distinctive whooping calls, the whooping crane is the tallest bird in North America and one of its most endangered. Standing at over five feet tall, the bird is covered in white plumage, accented with black tipped wings and a striking red crown. Whooping cranes establish lifelong mates and maintain their bonds through courtship dances and displays. The cranes were on the brink of extinction in 1941, but thanks to decades of successful conservation, a self-sustaining population of more than 300 birds now migrates between Texas and Canada. Despite this hopeful sign, there are still only 400 or more whooping cranes left in the wild today.

Climate Change Impacts

Global warming poses a great threat to the whooping crane’s fragile recovery. Warmer temperatures may lead to decreased rainfall and drought, shrinking their Canadian wetland habitat while giving land predators, such as foxes and lynx, easier access to chicks. In the crane’s Texas winter habitat, decreased rainfall coupled with rising sea levels would limit freshwater inflow, flooding its fragile marshes with seawater and harming blue crabs and other prey.

Irreplaceable in Your Neighborhood

The Earthjustice traveling photo exhibit, Irreplaceable: Wildlife in a Warming World, is available to bring education, scholarship and research to your community. For more information on booking the exhibit, including fees, exhibit specifications, requirements and descriptions, please contact Nadine de Coteau at 1-800-584-6460.