- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 2, 2015

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - The Father Hupp Wildlife Management Area in Thayer County has been reopened now that six endangered whooping cranes have left it.

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission closed the area to the public after the birds were spotted Nov. 13. They left on Tuesday.

Commission spokesman Jerry Kane said the closure is standard procedure for the commission when whooping cranes are confirmed on property the agency owns or manages.

The birds’ total wild population of about 300 individuals migrates through Nebraska each fall and spring between wintering sites along the Texas Gulf of Mexico coast and breeding areas in northern Alberta. They are protected by the federal Endangered Species Act and the Nebraska Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation Act.

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