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From the Field Series: A.I. in Cranes – And I Don’t Mean C-3PO or R2-D2

OVERVIEW

When people hear or see the acronym A.I., they often think of Star Wars’ famous C-3PO or movies like The Terminator, Robocop or Wall-E. If you’ve come here to discuss Sci-Fi, unfortunately, you will be sorely disappointed. But if you’ve come to learn more about actual, real-life, tangible science, you are in the right place! Artificial Insemination, or in this case A.I. for short, is a common practice at the International Crane Foundation.



By the early 1940s, the Whooping Cranes population plummeted down into the teens, reaching an all-time low and causing an unprecedented genetic bottleneck in the population. Over time, strives have been made to diversify the species’ genetics, and A.I. has been a key component to this success. At the International Crane Foundation, our Crane Conservation Department utilizes A.I. techniques to diversify the genetics of Whooping Cranes and several other species. Join Senior Aviculturist Kyle Tainter as he discusses all things A.I. Kyle will discuss how we determine which male and female make up the best genetic combination to the equipment used, including your standard shot glasses – minus your favorite beverage of choice, of course!

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