431 Wild Whooping cranes estimated on Aransas NWR primary survey area

 2016 Whooping Crane Winter Survey Results Released

Whooping Crane Winter Survey

Whooping Cranes at Aransas NWR. Photo by Kevin Sims. Click photo to view full size.

Once again, Terry Liddick, pilot/biologist from our Migratory Birds program, served as a pilot, flying a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Cessna 206. This year Phil Thorpe also served as a pilot, flying a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wheeled Kodiak. Observers were Wade Harrell, Jena Moon (Refuges Inventory and Monitoring biologist), Doug Head (Refuges Inventory and Monitoring biologist) and Stephen LeJeune (Chenier Plains Refuge Complex Fire Program). Doug Head (Refuge Inventory and Management biologist) served as survey coordinator.

431 Wild Whooping Cranes Estimated on the mid-Texas coast on and around Aransas NWR.

Whooping Crane Winter Survey

Whooping crane family at Aransas National WIldlife Refuge. Photo courtesy of Kevin Sims.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimated 431 whooping cranes in the Aransas-Wood Buffalo population inhabited the primary survey area  for the winter of 2016–2017.
Whooping Crane Winter Survey

Whooping Cranes at Aransas NWR. Photo by Kevin Sims. Click photo to view full size

Survey results indicated 431 whooping cranes (95% CI = 371.1–492.7; CV = 0.101) inhabited the primary survey area (Figure 1). This estimate included 50 juveniles (95% CI = 36.3–60.9; CV = 0.144) and 162 adult pairs (95% CI = 139.2–185.5; CV = 0.100). Recruitment of juveniles into the winter flock was 13.1 chicks (95% CI = 10.4–16.6; CV = 0.119) per 100 adults, which is comparable to long-term average recruitment. The precision of this year’s estimate achieved the target set in the whooping crane inventory and monitoring protocol (i.e., CV < 0.10).

Click on the link to see full report: Whooping Crane Winter Survey Results.

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5 thoughts on “431 Wild Whooping cranes estimated on Aransas NWR primary survey area

  1. Wow! Great news. 431 wild whoopers now in the Aransas/Wood Buffalo population. And this does not include the 63 new fledglings that have entered the population in 2017.

    Chester McConnell, FOTWW

  2. I had to read twice the report, thinking firstly it was a mistake. I am happy that I realise I had made mistake reading it and the new plane made the count accurate. We had more whooping cranes all along and didn’t know it. That is good!

  3. This is good news to read. I wonder how much more accurate this so called estimate with new plane is. I still feel the only way to get an accurate count is to “count” them as Dr. Tom Stehn did. If they can count them in Canada, they surely can do the same in Texas. Thank you FOTWW!

  4. Whoop, whoop! Great to see this increase in the population. Maybe 500 next year? There is hope and keep doing what you are doing! 🙂

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