Author Archive

Wintering Whooping Crane Update, February 22, 2015

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

Wade Harrell, U.S. Whooping Crane Recovery Coordinator.

It continues to look like a banner year in terms of habitat conditions, with the Refuge having a greater amount of freshwater on the landscape than we have seen in several years. Fall and winter rains are slowly moving us in the right direction. Whooping Cranes have responded to these conditions by spending more time in the coastal marsh, foraging on the relatively abundant blue crabs and other food resources. While we have still seen some Whooping Crane use of inland habitats this year, that trend is definitely down from the peak of the drought 2 seasons ago.

WhoopersVisitors to the Refuge and those observing Whooping Cranes from boat tours have been in a good position this year to observe use of the traditional coastal marsh habitat. We’ve had some outstanding weather lately, and I encourage everyone to come out and visit us before the Whooping Cranes start heading back North in late March. Many of you will be happy to know that we have reinitiated our Refuge bus tours for February and March. Tours are first-come, first-served, and visitors must register in the visitor center the day of the tour.

The schedule is as follows:

Thursday, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Friday, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Sunday, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Information on Whooping Crane Death Being Sought

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and Texas Parks & Wildlife are seeking information about the death of a Whooping Crane. The carcass of the bird was found on January 4. For more information, please see the press release.

Training Surveys & GoPro Video

We were able to fly some training surveys on January 5-6 with our new Refuge Biologist Keith Westlake and Ecological Services biologist Frank Weaver. We are still working through the best way to utilize GoPro Camera technology in our survey efforts, but have some clips of how things look 200 feet above the marsh. We’ll be uploading the survey clips on our Facebook page, so check it out in the coming week.

GPS tracking study & other Whooping Crane observations

While we have not done any additional marking of Whooping Cranes this winter, we are still consistently tracking 20 GPS marked Whooping Cranes for this study. They also have bi-color bands on the leg opposite of the leg with the transmitter. If you happen to see a marked bird, please report it to us with as much information as you can (i.e. Red/Black left leg, GPS right leg, location, other birds in the same area, etc.)

Whooping Cranes outside the traditional wintering area that have been reported to Texas Whooper Watch include a single adult bird associated with a group of Sandhill Cranes in Eastern Williamson County, a pair of adult Whoopers near the town of Refugio, and a pair of adults with 2 juveniles in Northwest Matagorda County.

Habitat Management on Aransas NWR:

The Refuge successfully conducted 3 burns this winter, 2 on the Blackjack Peninsula along East Shore Road (primary Whooping Crane habitat) and one on Matagorda Island. Total acreage burned was more than 12,000 acres.

Recent Precipitation/Salinity around Aransas NWR:

December precipitation: 2.95” @ Aransas HQ

January precipitation: 2.85” @ Aransas HQ

February precipitation (as of Feb. 22): 0.93” @ Aransas HQ

Salinity at GBRA 1: averaging around 24 ppt

Wintering Whooping Crane Update

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

Update from Wade Harrell, U.S. Whooping Crane Recovery Coordinator.  Read Now…


WANTED

The Whooping Crane Conservation Association is currently seeking interested people to fill upcoming vacancies on our Executive. All executive positions, including those of the Trustees, are volunteer positions with no remuneration.

Secretary

We are seeking a person with organizational skills who is interested in becoming the secretary of the WCCA. The secretary is reponsible for keeping track of the membership information and donations. Proficiency with Microsoft ACCESS an asset.

Newsletter Editor

We are seeking a person with writing and organizational skills to put together our newsletter “Grus Americana”. The editor assembles articles of significance and then uses word processing software to form a newsletter. Proficiency with Microsoft Word or other word processing software an asset.

If you are interested in either of these positions, please use the Contact WCCA page. Thanks for your interest.

Half of future whooper habitat could be lost

Monday, December 1st, 2014

Critical Whooping Crane wintering habitat in short supply and threatened. Read about the latest research by Elizabeth Smith of the International Crane Foundation and Felipe Chavez-Ramirez of the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory in this Victoria Advocate article…


WANTED

The Whooping Crane Conservation Association is currently seeking interested people to fill upcoming vacancies on our Executive. All executive positions, including those of the Trustees, are volunteer positions with no remuneration.

Secretary

We are seeking a person with organizational skills who is interested in becoming the secretary of the WCCA. The secretary is reponsible for keeping track of the membership information and donations. Proficiency with Microsoft ACCESS an asset.

Newsletter Editor

We are seeking a person with writing and organizational skills to put together our newsletter “Grus Americana”. The editor assembles articles of significance and then uses word processing software to form a newsletter. Proficiency with Microsoft Word or other word processing software an asset.

If you are interested in either of these positions, please use the Contact WCCA page. Thanks for your interest.

Whooping Crane Recovery Activities

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

Download the Whooping Crane Recovery Activities Report (2013 breeding season – 2014 spring migration) by Wade Harrell (US Fish & Wildlife Service) and Mark Bidwell (Canadian Wildlife Service)


WANTED

The Whooping Crane Conservation Association is currently seeking interested people to fill upcoming vacancies on our Executive. All executive positions, including those of the Trustees, are volunteer positions with no remuneration.

Secretary

We are seeking a person with organizational skills who is interested in becoming the secretary of the WCCA. The secretary is reponsible for keeping track of the membership information and donations. Proficiency with Microsoft ACCESS an asset.

Newsletter Editor

We are seeking a person with writing and organizational skills to put together our newsletter “Grus Americana”. The editor assembles articles of significance and then uses word processing software to form a newsletter. Proficiency with Microsoft Word or other word processing software an asset.

If you are interested in either of these positions, please use the Contact WCCA page. Thanks for your interest.

Newsletter – Fall 2014

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

Fall 2014 WCCA Newsletter

Early Winter Vacation

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

The first whooping cranes to return to the wintering grounds at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge did so in mid September, about a month earlier than usual.

For more detail please see the article in the Northern Journal


WANTED

The Whooping Crane Conservation Association is currently seeking interested people to fill upcoming vacancies on our Executive. All executive positions, including those of the Trustees, are volunteer positions with no remuneration.

Secretary

We are seeking a person with organizational skills who is interested in becoming the secretary of the WCCA. The secretary is reponsible for keeping track of the membership information and donations. Proficiency with Microsoft ACCESS an asset.

Newsletter Editor

We are seeking a person with writing and organizational skills to put together our newsletter “Grus Americana”. The editor assembles articles of significance and then uses word processing software to form a newsletter. Proficiency with Microsoft Word or other word processing software an asset.

If you are interested in either of these positions, please use the Contact WCCA page. Thanks for your interest.

Wanted: Volunteers

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

The Whooping Crane Conservation Association is currently seeking interested people to fill upcoming vacancies on our Executive. All executive positions, including those of the Trustees, are volunteer positions with no remuneration.

Secretary

We are seeking a person with organizational skills who is interested in becoming the secretary of the WCCA. The secretary is reponsible for keeping track of the membership information and donations. Proficiency with Microsoft ACCESS an asset.

Newsletter Editor

We are seeking a person with writing and organizational skills to put together our newsletter “Grus Americana”. The editor assembles articles of significance and then uses word processing software to form a newsletter. Proficiency with Microsoft Word or other word processing software an asset.

If you are interested in either of these positions, please use the Contact WCCA page. Thanks for your interest.

Biologists wrap up annual WBNP whooping crane studies

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

The Canadian Wildlife Service reports that at least 32 whooping cranes have fledged in Wood Buffalo National Park and surrounding area in 2014.

For more detail please see the article in the Northern Journal


WANTED

The Whooping Crane Conservation Association is currently seeking interested people to fill upcoming vacancies on our Executive. All executive positions, including those of the Trustees, are volunteer positions with no remuneration.

Secretary

We are seeking a person with organizational skills who is interested in becoming the secretary of the WCCA. The secretary is reponsible for keeping track of the membership information and donations. Proficiency with Microsoft ACCESS an asset.

Newsletter Editor

We are seeking a person with writing and organizational skills to put together our newsletter “Grus Americana”. The editor assembles articles of significance and then uses word processing software to form a newsletter. Proficiency with Microsoft Word or other word processing software an asset.

If you are interested in either of these positions, please use the Contact WCCA page. Thanks for your interest.

Number of whooping cranes rising in the N.W.T.

Friday, August 8th, 2014

The world’s number of whooping cranes are steadily on the rise, according to biologists at Wood Buffalo National Park.

There are now an estimated 300 cranes in the flock, which is up from 16 in the 1950s.

Read the full story on the CBC News Website

Record-breaking number of nests counted

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

Record number of Whooping Crane nests in Wood Buffalo National Park and surrounding area. Recent surveys conducted by the Canadian Wildlife Service on the whooping crane breeding grounds have revealed 82 nesting pairs.

Read the full story on the Northern Journal website