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Greetings all,

The following report is forwarded on behalf of the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge Project Leader Dan Alonso. Please respond to Dan_Alonso@fws.gov.

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278 whooping cranes left Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in the spring of 2011. With approximately 37 chicks fledged from a record 75 nests in August 2011, we expect the flock size to reach record levels of around 300 birds this winter. Many of the cranes have already arrived on the wintering grounds, and to date we have many confirmed sightings on and off refuge including 26 individuals occupying the blackjack peninsula. Currently, 12 of the 21 active radio-tagged birds have arrived on the Texas coast. The remaining cranes are scattered between North Dakota and Aransas National Wildlife Refuge.

Thank you again for your continued support and dedication to the National Wildlife Refuge System. It is through these partnerships that we continue to make great strides in protecting our endangered species for future generations.

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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.