Archive for December 15th, 2011

Whoopers Continue to Rebound

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

This is Passport to Texas

As many as 1,400 whooping cranes migrated across North America to the Texas coast in the mid-1800s. By the mid 1940s, the population that wintered here was down to just 18 birds.

08—In the early days, it was primarily unregulated shooting that was causing loss of whooping cranes. And that was something that was fairly easy to control.

Lee Ann Linam is a biologist with the Wildlife Diversity Program at Parks and Wildlife. Because of well-coordinated efforts to protect habitat on the part of both agencies and private landowners, the birds have rebounded, but challenges remain.

11—But now the issues are pretty complex. Things like drought and climate change contributing to things like reduced freshwater inflows. Even the red tide occurrences are threatening the coast this year.

Healthy estuaries are critical to the survival of this magnificent species.

17—In the long-term, we as Texans have the challenge of figuring out how to keep those entire ecosystems healthy with sufficient freshwater inflows; balancing water needs and water uses, because everyone really is affected. So things like water use planning that are going on too, is an important part of the picture.

How many whooping cranes might we see in Texas this winter? Find out on tomorrow’s show.

The Sport Fish and Wildlife restoration program supports our series. For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.