(Grus americana), tallest American bird and one of the world's rarest, a member of the family Gruidae (order Gruiformes). The whooping crane, officially listed as an endangered species, is on the verge of extinction; the Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife in the U.S. Department of the Interior is propagating captive whooping cranes in an attempt to increase the wild population, which numbered nearly 100 individuals in the early 1980s, with about 24 more in captivity.

The whooping crane is almost 150 centimetres (5 feet) tall and has a wingspread of about 210 centimetres (7 feet). It is white with black-tipped wings, black legs, and a bare red face and crown. It has a whooping call purported to be audible for two miles.

It is believed that such birds as the whooping crane have been declining in numbers for some time because of changing ecological conditions, and only partly from hunting and cultivation of land by man. Their gregariousness increases their vulnerability, and the high rate of infant mortality retards recovery of the population.

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