Archive for December 16th, 2011

Whoopers Could Break Record

Friday, December 16th, 2011

This is Passport to Texas

The last naturally breeding wild flock of endangered whooping cranes winters along the Texas Coast at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, near Rockport.

04—they spend from about mid-November to about mid-April here in Texas.

Lee Ann Linam is a biologist with the Wildlife Diversity Program at Parks and Wildlife. We spoke in mid November when the birds were just beginning to show up along the coast following their long migration from their breeding grounds in Canada.

10—We have about 25 or 26 whoopers that have been sighted on the Texas coast. We normally, though, don’t get our final count until late December or perhaps early January.

The flock was nearly extinct in the late 1930s 1940s with fewer than 20 members, but its population has grown slowly thanks to well-coordinated efforts to protect habitat and the birds.

20—We had a peak of 283 in Texas last winter, which was a new record. We had approximately37 to 40 chicks that were fledged and were ready to fly I n late august in Canada, according to aerial surveys. So, if we get good enough survival, then we might hit that magic 300 mark.

The Aransas National Wildlife Refuge has a website that updates whooper arrivals, but…

04—The very best experience is to go down and see whooping cranes for yourself.

That’s our show for today. The sport fish and Wildlife restoration program supports our series and fund conservation programs in Texas. For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.