The following report is forwarded with permission from Tom Stehn, USFWS biologist and US 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, plus many volunteers and non-profit organizations along the way.
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 web site at http://www.ccbirding.com/
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An aerial census of Matagorda Island NWR on April 29, 2003 estimated the number of whooping cranes present at 0. The flight indicated that the last two remaining whooping cranes had started the migration since the previous flight on April 23.
RECAP OF CRANES OBSERVED: ZERO
Conclusions: The two cranes on Matagorda Island last week were not seen by staff on April 27th, so are believed to have started migration during April 24-27. Only Matagorda Island was searched on today's census flight.
The 2002-03 whooping crane season at Aransas is over.
- Tom Stehn
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Patty Waits Beasley
Corpus Christi, TX