Thursday, May 8, 2014

Baby white-naped crane chick unveiled at Central Park Zoo

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The Wildlife Conservation Society's Central Park Zoo has added a new cuddly creature to its flock.

The white-naped crane chick is the first of its kind hatched at the Central Park Zoo and is currently on exhibit with its parents. The couple welcomed their first chick back in 2011 at the Bronx Zoo.

White-naped cranes are currently on the vulnerable species list compiled by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and as such, are included in the Wildlife Conservation Society's Species Survival Plan, a cooperative breeding program designed to increase animal survival in accredited zoos and aquariums.

There are only about 5,500 to 6,500 white-naped cranes left in the wild. The species is at risk because of increased use of its wetland habitats for agriculture. White-naped cranes are migratory birds native to East Asia, an area which includes China, Russia, North and South Korea, Japan and Mongolia.

The Wildlife Conservation Society's Mongolia Program has made conserving the species a priority and continues to track the population in the high elevation wetlands of Mongolia and other neighboring countries. WCS has joined with various conservation partners and governments in its efforts to conserve the white-naped crane.

Visitors can come to the Central Park Zoo every day of the year. April through October the zoo is open from 10-5:30pm and from 10-4:30 November to April. General Admission is $12 for adults, $9 for senior citizens, $7 for children 3 to 12, and free for children younger than 3. The zoo is located at Fifth Avenue and 64th Street. For more information, please call 212-439-6500 or visit www.centralparkzoo.com

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