08 October, 2014

The Man Who Saves Cranes | Audubon Magazine

The Man Who Saves Cranes | Audubon Magazine: Whooping cranes were in dire trouble. The remaining population was well below 100 birds. Tex's genes could play an important role maintaining some genetic diversity in the increasingly small whooping crane population, if she would breed in captivity.

Her captors just wanted Tex to live a happy crane life--pair with a mate, build a nest, have some chicks. But, no. Tex was having none of that.

So ornithologist George Archibald stepped in. That is, the Cornell Ph.D. graduate decided he would have to woo the whooping crane. Archibald's logic was simple. If Tex fell for him--or, in his words, "formed a pair bond"--it would trigger ovulation, and then his colleagues could artificially inseminate her.