Brian Johns, Wildlife Biologist, Canadian Wildlife Service reports that, “Lea Craig-Moore and Kathy St. Laurent have completed the whooping crane breeding pair surveys in Wood Buffalo National Park and surrounding area. Habitat conditions were good, with water levels being higher than normal. The spring was slightly later than average and the northern portions of the nesting area still had a number of snow banks and some frozen wetlands.
In total 61 nests were discovered, only 5 fewer than the all time high of 66 in 2008. Another 22 pairs of cranes were observed, half of which have likely bred in previous years and the remainder were subadult pairs. Lea, Tom Stehn and Jim Bredy will be conducting the hatching success surveys in a couple of weeks and I will send an update after those are completed.”