Episode One:

The Wild Whoopers: A Species on the Brink

Whooping Cranes used to be widespread throughout North America, with estimates of their populations reaching as high as 10,000. But by 1941, just 15 individuals remained. What happened to these cranes? From habitat loss to hunting, Dr. Elizabeth Smith from the International Crane Foundation explains why they fell to such low numbers and what has been done to save them since. (The music in this episode is “Partly Sage” by Blue Dot Sessions, provided under the Attribution-Noncommercial License.)


Earthwatch depends on donations—above and beyond what we raise from volunteers who participate on our expeditions—in order to deliver our global conservation mission. In fact, volunteer contributions provide only half of the total resources Earthwatch needs to sustain over 40 field research expeditions, a wide variety of educational programs, corporate sustainability trainings, and more each year.