Patuxent Wildlife Research Center to be eliminated

Patuxent Wildlife Research Center to be eliminated

by Friends of the Wild Whoopers Administration

Patuxent Wildlife Research CenterA United States Geological Survey (USGS) document entitled “Program changes” includes budget modifications and requests affecting 40 programs, including endangered Whooping Cranes.

The Whooping Crane Propagation Program at Patuxent Wildlife Research Center will be eliminated entirely (-$1,500,000/-5 FTE). According to USGS: “This will eliminate the largest dedicated captive breeding effort for Endangered Species Act-listed cranes and eliminates capacity within Interior for avian studies that require controlled studies with large, rare birds. According to budget personnel, the program, while providing valuable contributions to whooping crane recovery, is no longer required to meet species recovery goals.” The total USGS wildlife program will be cut by $10,707,000.

Various interests that rely on Patuxent Whooping Cranes for eggs, chicks and research programs are currently looking for other facilities to relocate the birds and equipment.

The budget cuts will reduce research and monitoring of wildlife species managed by Department of Interior and other Federal, State and Tribal agencies including game and waterfowl species pursued by recreational hunters.

The 2018 President’s budget includes $922.2 million for the USGS, a program decrease of $159.6 million over the 2017 Annualized Continuing Resolution and fixed costs of $21.8 million. The 2018 budget request proposes various reductions to 37 of 40 USGS programs, but reflects a commitment to executing core USGS mission responsibilities. The USGS focus continues to be providing impartial scientific data and leading edge research that supports policies and decisions that promote the health, safety, and prosperity of the Nation. With this proposed requested budget, the USGS is reducing or eliminating programs.

***** 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.



Wood Buffalo Whooping Cranes Have Record 98 Nests

Great news for everyone interested in the Aransas Wood Buffalo population of wild Whooping Cranes. Whooping Crane recovery and management is going strong with these endangered birds. Mike Keizer, External Manager, Wood Buffalo National Park stated ,”Some news that I hope will put a bounce in your step.”

Mr Keizer advised that, “A record number of whooping cranes have been found in Wood Buffalo National Park during the 2017 nesting survey carried out by Parks Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada. This year’s survey found 98 nests, an increase of 16 over the previous record of 82 set in 2014.”

98 nests at Whooping crane nesting grounds./Wood Buffalo National Park.

Two adults and one juvenile whooping crane. Photo: John McKinnon / ©2014 Parks Canada /Wood Buffalo National Park.

Protecting and promoting ecological integrity is a priority for Parks Canada. Keizer stated that, “The data gathered each year allows us to track the health and growth of the population, and allows us to assess the current state of the crane’s habitat, which Parks is directly responsible for. The Whooping Crane nesting area is one of the reasons why Wood Buffalo was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.”

Keizer elaborated, “2017 also offers an opportunity to celebrate this amazing recovery successes story of the Whooping Crane and take strides to advance protected areas and biodiversity as part of the celebration of Canada’s 150th.

Friends of the Wild Whoopers will provide more details about this amazing conservation milestone soon. We will explain how Wood Buffalo National Park field staff and Environment and Climate Change Canada gather this important information and what it could mean for the future of world’s only wild migratory Whooping Crane flock.

Whooping it up in Wood Buffalo.