Two Louisiana wildlife refuges will have some new inhabitants. Those inhabitants are whooping cranes, a species that was once thought to be extinct in Louisiana.A Department of Wildlife and Fisheries spokesperson says the additional 21 birds will be added to the state's small but growing number whooping cranes. This makes a total of 25 birds Louisiana has received.

The birds were transferred from Maryland and are a part of LDWF program to increase the whooping crane population in the state. The new arrivals will be placed into their new homes at one of two wildlife refuges in the state.

We have a pen at the Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge and at the White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area. Because we have a large group, the groups have been divided up and we’ll have birds at both of those locations.

LDWF Biologist Sara Zimorski told the Louisiana Radio Network that the new arrivals will be counted among the whooping crane population over the next couple of weeks. That would make a total of 59 birds in the state's population.

They are an endangered species and because they were a species that was historically found in Louisiana, we would like to get a population established here again.

The birds are monitored by LDWF through electronic transmitters. These transmitters help biologist study their habits and habitats and help provide valuable information in the quest to re-establish the species presence in the state.