MNN Galleries

Eco-photos of the week: May 23-29

May 28, 2010, 9:27 a.m.
Smithsonian breeds hope

Photo: Mehgan Murphy/Smithsonian's National Zoo

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Smithsonian breeds hope

Two rare white-naped crane chicks hatched at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Va., on May 12 and 14. The birth of the two chicks validates the National Zoo’s success in breeding some of the most genetically valuable cranes, part of the North American White-Naped Crane Species Survival Plan. Destruction of the bird's native wetland habitat in Asia has dramatically decreased white-naped crane populations in the wild to an estimated 5,000 individuals.