The whooping crane has come back from the brink of extinction, yet its continued endangered status leaves it as one of the most beautiful sights that few have seen.
In the 1940s, only 15 birds remained in the wild. By 2011, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimated about 278 birds comprised the world’s only self-sustaining wild population. They migrate annually between Wood Buffalo National Park in Canada and Aransas National Wildlife Refuge on the Gulf Coast of Texas, a journey nearly 2,500 miles long.
The same winds that whooping cranes find helpful on their journey also generate electricity for Basin Electric. While the cooperative wind turbines stand within the bird’s migration corridor, Basin Electric is taking steps to ensure the safety of the rare birds.
Kevin Tschosik manages Basin Electric’s distributed generation facilities, including the cooperative-operated wind projects. Watch the video to hear Tschosik explain how the cooperative trains technicians and prepares for the possible presence of whooping cranes.