Whooping Crane Survey Results Release
Six surveys were flown, beginning on Monday, December 7 and ending this past Thursday, December 17, 2015. Terry Liddick, pilot/biologist from our migratory birds program, served as pilot, flying a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Cessna 206. Observers were Wade Harrell and Beau Hardegree (Coastal Program Biologist, Corpus Christi FWS office). Doug Head (Refuge Inventory & Management biologist) served as ground survey coordinator and Diane Iriarte (Refuge biologist) served as data manager.
329 Wild Whooping Cranes Estimated on the mid-Texas coast on and around Aransas NWR.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has completed aerial surveys of the primary survey area centered on Aransas National Wildlife Refuge to estimate the abundance of Whooping Cranes in the Aransas-Wood Buffalo population. Compared to the 308 wild Whooping Cranes estimated in the Winter 2014-2015 this year’s estimate shows that the only natural wild population of whooping cranes has approximately 329 whooping cranes within the primary survey area and nine whooping cranes were observed outside the primary survey area.
Preliminary analyses of the survey data indicated 329 whooping cranes (95% CI =
293–371; CV = 0.073) inhabited the primary survey area (Figure 1). This estimate included 38 juveniles (95% CI = 33–43; CV = 0.078) and 122 adult pairs (95% CI = 108–137; CV = 0.071). Recruitment of juveniles into the winter flock was 13 chicks (95% CI = 12–14; CV = 0.036) per 100 adults, which is comparable to long-term average recruitment.. click on the link to see full report: Whooping Crane Winter Survey Results.
***** 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.