The following report is forwarded with permission from Tom Stehn, USFWS biologist and National Whooping Crane Coordinator.
Where applicable, CWS stands for Canadian Wildlife Service; USFWS is US Fish and Wildlife Service. Crane monitoring involves cooperative efforts and support by both countries.
Anyone wanting to contact Tom about the report or the whooping crane projects can reach him via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Other information, including archived copies of these reports, can be found at the Texas Whooping Crane home pages at http://www.electrotex.com/aoc/. (Please link to the Texas Whooping Crane pages through the AOC main home page, as the URLs for the special site pages may change over time as updates and reviews occur.)
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About March 17, the FIRST WHOOPING CRANE CHICK IN FLORIDA HAS HATCHED! Observations are underway today to see if the second egg has hatched. This is a significant milestone resulting from the reintroduction of non-migratory whooping cranes that started in 1993. Last year, two pairs laid eggs for the first time but both nests were destroyed by natural causes. This year, a second whooping crane nest was also destroyed. Florida will be working on a news release shortly.
A Rocky Mountain whooping crane was killed on March 15 in a collision with a power line at Monte Vista NWR. Preliminary necropsy results by the National Wildlife Health Lab indicate death from impact, with no sign of disease. This whooping crane (a cross-fostered female from 1982) had been negotiating for years this low powerline that is next to the main highway through the refuge. This crane wintered at Bosque del Apache NWR and summered in Yellowstone. It seems appropriate that USFWS get this line buried since many cranes cross it annually. Currently, the two remaining Rocky Mountain whooping cranes are in the San Luis Valley (cross-fostered bird with metal band) and the other recently sighted at Ouray NWR (ultralight crane from 1997 with yellow bands on both legs). Two of the Aransas/Wood Buffalo whooping cranes are currently together on the Platte River in Nebraska with the main migration just about to get underway.
Whooping Crane Coordinator
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Corpus Christi, Texas