Feininger on Photography by Andreas Feininger PDF

By Andreas Feininger

Feininger On images, by way of Feininger, Andreas

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Allen was appointed to undertake a detailed study of the whooping crane because its extinction was felt to be imminent. It is primarily because of his spearheading efforts that this majestic bird has survived. He aroused wide publicity on behalf of the cranes. But above all Allen set out to learn precisely all about the biology of this large crane, and such efforts con- 50 tinue, even today, at Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, Maryland and at the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo, Wisconsin.

Of these, 16 hatchlings were banded and these birds were known to have migrated to the Aransas refuge in Texas in the same winter. With the discovery of the nesting grounds and the protection afforded to this area the number of cranes gradually increased but then several setbacks occurred. In 1973 scientists were alarmed that of the 59 birds counted in 1971 only 43 were still alive. Snowstorms were known to have caused oc- casional losses, but such a drastic reduction was frightening and even today remains unexplained.

The fishermen now live in huts built on high stilts and they do not hunt the deer and other mammals on which the monitors feed, but the clearing of land to make way for new housing and increased tourism may become future threats to their existence. It is also feared that mineral deposits may be discovered on the island, a prospect that would alter the situation at once. But however much the Western zoological community may dream of having additional monitors for exhibition, until such time that their requirements are better understood, and they are able to successfully reproduce in captivity, it is best if this prehistoric beast is left protected on the islands to which it is native.

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Feininger on Photography by Andreas Feininger

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