RETURN TO HOME PAGE 

Greetings all!

The following report is forwarded with permission from Tom Stehn, USFWS biologist and US Whooping Crane Coordinator.

------------- begin report --------------

Great news from the whooping crane nesting grounds in Wood Buffalo National Park! Survival has been good from the record 76 whooping crane chicks that hatched from 62 nests in June. Brian Johns and Lea Craig-Moore of the Canadian Wildlife Service found a record for August of 47 young, including 7 sets of twins. In previous years, the highest number of chicks found in August had been 39.

The August aerial surveys are conducted when the juveniles are close to fledging. Survival of fledged chicks is usually quite good, although losses of chicks from twin families still seems to happen frequently. As many as 40 juveniles may make it to Aransas this fall. If adult mortality is about average, there should be 230+ whooping cranes in the flock in the 2006-07 winter!
 
 

WHOOPING CRANE NUMBERS   August 28, 2006

Wild Populations                                                                           

 

Adult

Young

Total

Adult Pairs

Aransas/Wood Buffalo

  214

 A

214A

      71

Rocky Mountains

0

0

0

0

Florida non-migratory

50B

4

54B

      17

Wisconsin/Florida migratory

61

 25C

86

5

             Subtotal in the Wild

325

29

354

      93

A  The population of the Aransas-Wood Buffalo flock in the spring, 2006 was 214.

       A record 47 chicks in mid-August have survived from the record 76 chicks and 62 nests found in June.  These chicks are not listed above since a total population count cannot be done during the summer and it is not known what adult mortality has occurred.  If adult mortality between spring and fall is about average, there should be 230+ whooping cranes at Aransas in the 2006-07 winter.

B  This number is an estimate since not all whooping cranes in Florida can be located on a regular basis.  Four chicks fledged in the wild in 2006.  Birds routinely monitored include 46 adults and 4 chicks.

 C    One pair hatched twin chicks, the first whooping cranes to hatch in the wild in Wisconsin in over 100 years.  An additional 23 captive-reared young are at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge in central Wisconsin and are expected to be reintroduced into the wild starting in fall, 2006.

 Captive Populations

 

Adult

Young*

Total

Breeding Pairs

Patuxent WRC, Maryland                           

57

3

60

15

International Crane Foundation, WI

32

5

37

11

Devonian Wildl. Cons.Cent./Calgary

19

4

23

6

Species Survival Center, Louisiana

8

0

8

1

Calgary Zoo, Alberta

2

0

2

0

New Orleans Zoo, Louisiana

2

0

2

0

San Antonio Zoo, Texas

7

1

8

1

Homosassa Springs Wildl State Park

2

0

2

0

Lowry Park Zoo, Tampa, Florida

2

0

2

0

Jacksonville Zoo, Florida D

0

2D

2

0

                Subtotal in Captivity

131

15

146

34

*   Numbers are of young remaining at the captive centers after eggs and/or birds were shipped out for reintroductions in 2006.  In most cases, these young are genetically valuable and will become future captive breeding stock.

D  Two juveniles currently at the Necedah NWR have health problems and may be shipped to the Jacksonville Zoo in Florida in October, 2006.

 TOTALS (Wild + Captive)      354 + 146= 500


Tom Stehn
Whooping Crane Coordinator
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Aransas NWR
P.O. Box 100
Austwell, TX 77950
(361) 286-3559 Ext. 221
fax (361) 286-3722
E:mail: tom_stehn@fws.gov

------------- end report ----------------

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: tom_stehn@fws.gov. Other information, including archived copies of these reports, can be found at the Texas Whooping Crane web site at http://www.ccbirding.com/

Patty Waits Beasley
Corpus Christi, TX
email: patty@ccbirding.com
web: http://www.ccbirding.com/