Welcome Friends

Friends of the Wild Whoopers,  (a.k.a FOTWW) is a 501c3 nonprofit conservation organization whose mission is to help preserve and protect the Aransas/Wood Buffalo population of wild whooping cranes and their habitat.

We would like to educate those who have an interest in protecting this beautiful American bird, as well as bringing you the latest news on the Whooper.

Make sure you subscribe to stay informed. If you would like to contribute in any way, we would love to hear from you. Donations are always welcome to help with our expenses.

 

Counting Whooping Cranes

Wondering what is involved with counting whooping cranes?

Each fall, the natural wild flock of whooping cranes migrates the 2,500 miles from their nesting grounds at Wood Buffalo National Park in Alberta, Canada to Aransas National Wildlife Refuge for the winter. They live on the Texas coast a few months of the year and they spend that time feeding in the remote wetlands of the refuge and surrounding area. So how do U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists estimate the number of whooping cranes in existence today? The answer: long hours in a small plane flying a grid and looking very, very closely at what is happening on the ground.

While the whooping cranes are in Texas, researchers conduct surveys by plane to gauge the status of the population. They fly several flights and while flying a grid pattern over the refuge, they have to be able to discern which birds are whooping cranes. Can you find the whooping cranes in the photo below?

Counting Whooping Cranes

Birds on the ground, viewed from the survey plane (original photo: Tom Stehn)

 

The data collected from the flights is used to calculate an estimate of the wild whooping crane population. If you would like to see more photos and read more details about how USFWS conducts their aerial surveys on the Aransas NWR, click here.

Counting whooping cranes is not an easy task and FOTWW thanks the USFWS for taking the time and going into detail on how the surveys are conducted.

***** FOTWW’s mission is to help preserve and protect the Aransas/Wood Buffalo
population of wild whooping cranes and their habitat. *****

Friends of the Wild Whoopers is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization.

Whoop it up for Canada’s Greatest Animal

In honor of Canada’s 150th birthday, the Calgary Zoo is celebrating one of the many national sources of pride – Canada’s wildlife. Canada has long been known for its incredible and diverse animal population, which has been led by the beaver since 1975. The Calgary Zoo thinks that it is time that Canadians should have a voice in choosing the candidate that best represents their wild side.

A movement is growing – citizens looking for the national animal that represents the mature and diverse country that Canada has become. With a little flexing of our democratic muscles, constituents can finally vote for Canada’s Greatest Animal.

So who will it be?

Canada's Greatest Animal

Canada is whooping it up for this towering candidate for Canada’s Greatest Animal

Whooping cranes are the symbol of conservation in North America. Due to excellent cooperation between the United States and Canada, this endangered species is slowly recovering from the brink of extinction. North America was once home to more than 10,000 cranes. By 1938, the population reached an all-time low of 14 known adults. In the early 1940s, the conservation movement leapt into action.

Over seventy years later, after significant breeding-area protection, captive breeding, aircraft-led migration and relocation efforts, the whooping crane has made a slow, often tenuous comeback. There are a little over 600 whooping cranes in the world today in the wild and in captivity. Last year, authorities “estimated” the population of the only natural surviving wild flock of whooping cranes to be 329. This population migrates 2,500 miles from their nesting grounds in Wood Buffalo National Park, Alberta to Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, along the Gulf Coast in Texas

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Because of its tenacity to survive and slowly increase in population, Friends of the Wild Whoopers, (FOTWW) is backing and voting for the whooping crane to be Canada’s Greatest Animal. We hope that you will vote for the whooping crane too!

Do you think the whooping crane should be Canada’s Greatest Animal? If so, just click here to vote! We did!

 

***** FOTWW’s mission is to help preserve and protect the Aransas/Wood Buffalo
population of wild whooping cranes and their habitat. *****

Friends of the Wild Whoopers is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization.