Hurricane Harvey and Whooping Cranes

Friends of the Wild Whoopers, (FOTWW) has had several inquiries about what effects Hurricane Harvey may have had to the wild whooping cranes’ wintering habitat on Aransas National Wildlife Refuge.

The whooping cranes of the wild flock and their new fledglings are still in Canada on their nesting grounds at Wood Buffalo National Park. Mike Keizer, Wood Buffalo National Park, Canada told FOTWW, “Hope all goes well in Texas. Glad the Whooping Cranes are still here.”

They won’t start their fall migration until the later part of next month and the first whoopers may arrive at Aransas for the winter right after the middle of October, with the remaining whoopers following until the middle of December, which is after the hurricane season.

What salt water from the storm surge that has gotten into the brackish bays will normally be flushed out with fresh flood water flowing in from upstream. Also with the predicted rainfall of 1 to 3 feet, the system should restore itself soon. It is too early to determine if there was any habitat loss and the priority now it to keep the area’s citizens safe, out of harm’s way and back into their homes and/or rebuilding.

Whatever the damage, if any, to the wild flock’s habitat, the flock will endure and survive as it has done over the years.

FOTWW and everyone is concerned about the refuge and surrounding area and our thoughts and prayers go out to all those citizens affected by Hurricane Harvey. We hope that there is no loss of life and little to no damage to property and habitat.

FOTWW will keep everyone updated as we get information.

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5 thoughts on “Hurricane Harvey and Whooping Cranes

  1. Really appreciate the update!!! Hope you will continue to keep us posted. I noticed the International Crane Foundation Center in Rockport was completely destroyed. Do you know if they kept any cranes in that facility? I just sent a contribution and am sure they would welcome all the financial support they can get for rebuilding. Truly challenging times for wildlife organizations.

  2. Almost positive I saw 2 whooping cranes by a pond near Lake Bruin Louisiana yesterday. Unfortunately did not stay long enough for a picture. I had seen some before near Goose Island last winter and I also check my bird ID book to confirm appearance. (Very large white bird with dark head and black wingtips in flight. May have been accompanied by a Sandhill crane. ) This seems to conflict with their expected location. Is it possible that there were some birds remaining at the gulf coast that were push up here by Hurricane Harvey?

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