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Since the 1940s Whooping Cranes have been endangered and were once on the brink of extinction. There are many contributions to the decline of the Whooping Crane population. One is habitat loss due to the draining and clearing of wetland habitats and conversion of wetlands and prairies to hay and grain production. Other reasons for the decline in Whooping Cranes include being hunted for the use of their feathers and meat for the table, and human disturbance in breeding areas and along the migration routes.