Movement of Whooping Cranes Tracked by Cellular Towers

This past summer in Wood Buffalo National Park, (WBNP), ten juvenile whooping cranes were trapped and fitted with solar-powered Cellular Tracking Platforms, (CTPs). Last month, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Geological Survey biologists trapped and banded 7 more cranes on their wintering grounds at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, (ANWR).

The new CTPs worn by the banded cranes will collect precise location data every half-hour, resulting in 48 data points collected daily. When the bird is within range of a cellular tower, location data points are transmitted to biologists who will use the information to track migration routes, stopover locations, and habitat use on the breeding grounds at WBNP and wintering grounds at ANWR. Biologists will a have better understanding of what habitat the whooping cranes prefer. All this will help wildlife agencies, and landowners to better manage coastal prairies and wetlands for whooping cranes and other resident wildlife.

Whooping cranes

Photo by Kevin Sims ©2015

To read more about this project, CTPs, and the procedure for capturing and banding the whooping cranes in this project, click here.

 

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***** 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.

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Wood Buffalo National Park Among Most Threatened World Heritage Sites In North America

Wood Buffalo

A salt plain in Wood Buffalo National Park. DEA / G. CARFAGNA via Getty Images

One of the world’s largest groups of conservation scientists says Canada’s biggest national park is among the most threatened World Heritage Sites in North America.

Wood Buffalo National Park is a vast stretch of grassland, forest, wetland and lakes. Its 45,000 square kilometres contain one of the world’s largest freshwater deltas, uncountable flocks of waterfowl and songbirds, as well as ecological cycles and relationships that remain in their natural state.

It’s also the nesting site for the last flock of endangered whooping cranes.

It is considered to have “outstanding and universal value,” according to its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

But the nature conservation union, which includes 1,300 member organizations and 10,000 experts, said those values have slipped considerably since the last report in 2014.

Only four other sites in North America are as threatened as Wood Buffalo — three in Mexico and one in the United States. Wood Buffalo is the only North American World Heritage Site to have deteriorated since 2014.

It’s not the first time Canada has been warned about the future of Wood Buffalo. Last June, UNESCO scientists visited the park at the invitation of the Mikisew.

They found the same concerns listed in the report and warned the park’s world heritage status would be endangered unless Canada implemented 17 recommendations.

Click here to read more.

 

***** 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.

Share