• Kyodo

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The population of red-crowned cranes has exceeded 1,000 in Hokkaido for the first time in two years, the Hokkaido Prefectural Government said Friday.

The cranes, designated as a protected species, were on the verge of extinction in the 1950s but have since rebounded.

in Japan, local government researchers at 137 sites in 17 municipalities counted 1,065 cranes as of 3 p.m. on Jan. 23, the second-largest number since the survey began in 1952, when only 33 cranes were spotted.

The crane population peaked in January 2006 at 1,081, according to the local government.

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