Whooping Crane–A Shared Past

This is Passport to Texas

[:05 whooping cranes calling”]

The call of the whooping crane may not be the most beautiful birdsong you’ll ever hear, but it is music to Lee Ann Linam’s ears.

A wildlife biologist, Ms. Linam, has a shared history with North America’s largest bird. Thanks to six decades of conservation, including efforts by one special family member, the species’ worldwide population has grown from 16 individuals to more than 200 birds – something Lee Ann has waited a lifetime to witness.

Well, I literally grew up with whooping cranes. My father worked for the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and when we moved to Texas in 1973, the whooper numbers were still around fifty birds. At that time, they were still very, very endangered, and yet we saw the number progressing upward. And in fact, when he died in 1986, he thought, ‘this might be the year they pass the one hundred bird mark’, and they did. And so, I feel like whoopers are a part of my life. I think that their success kind of reflects something of our family’s connection in history to the Texas coast and all the animals there.

Learn more about Whooping cranes by logging onto passporttotexas.org.

That’s our show …made possible today by the Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program…working to increase fishing, hunting, shooting and boating opportunities in Texas.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Whooping cranes are one of the rarest bird species in North America. Whooping cranes are protected in Canada, the United States and Mexico. Because some of their habitat is federally protected, the land is managed to preserve the animals. The greatest threats to whooping cranes are man-made: power lines, illegal hunting, and habitat loss. Because the Gulf International Waterway goes through their habitat area, the cranes are susceptible to chemical spills and other petroleum-related contamination. Public awareness and support are critical to whooping cranes’ survival as a species.

Comments are closed.