Whooping Cranes on their Nesting Habitat, Wood Buffalo , Canada

Whooping Cranes on their Nesting Habitat, Wood Buffalo , Canada

Have you visited Wood Buffalo National Park in northwest Canada to see whooping cranes? If so, you are among the very few. Because it is such a remote place for most people to visit, Friends of the Wild Whoopers  (FOTWW) wants to share some photographs with you that provides a sample of whoopers in their natural nesting area.

Wood Buffalo National Park, located in northeastern Alberta and southern Northwest Territories, is the largest national park in Canada at 17,300 sq. mi. (44,807 km2  ). It is also the second-largest national park in the world. Importantly, it is the nesting site for the only remaining wild self-sustaining flock of whooping cranes on the planet.

FOTWW was fortunate recently to link up with John David McKinnon who shared his whooping crane album with us. John said, “It’s time to show the world the whoopers at Wood Buffalo National Park.” So that’s our goal.  Be sure to check out his awesome photos and enjoy the beauty of both, the wild ones and Wood Buffalo Nation Park in John’s album:   Whooping Cranes .

Thank you John for sharing, so the world can see the precious whooping cranes and Wood Buffalo National Park.

 

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Researcher gets hands-on with whoopers

Victoria Advocate

  • Sara Sneath •
  • Originally published March 23, 2014 at 10:45 p.m., updated March 24, 2014 at 7:16 a.m. 

Felipe Chavez-Ramirez has scars on the back of his hands and forearms from catching whooping cranes. Part of a team of researchers from multiple organizations putting lightweight GPS devices on whoopers, he’s the guy who first puts hands on the 5-foot-tall birds.

“The bird is standing up when I get there. When we’re standing next to each other, we’re looking into each other’s eyes,” the 5-foot-7 Chavez-Ramirez said. “It’s very feisty. Its primary weapon is its legs.”

The research team put tracking devices on 68 of the endangered birds of the Aransas-Wood Buffalo population during the span of four years. That was more than 20 percent of population, said Wade Harrell, whooping crane recovery coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The GPS units, which are attached to the bird’s upper leg, send the location of the bird to a satellite four to five times a day, according to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service press release.

The team finished putting tracking devices on the birds this wintering season, and the study will continue through the life of the GPS units.  Read more: http://www.victoriaadvocate.com/news/2014/mar/23/whooper_gps_ss_032414_235669/?news

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Whooping Cranes-Signs of Spring

Posted on Fri, Mar. 21, 2014
By Beccy Tanner
The Wichita Eagle

Any day now, whooping cranes are expected to pass through the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge.

Last year, the first whooping crane arrived on March 6.

In 2012 and 2011, the whoopers arrived on March 16.

Travis Heying/ File photo Two rare whooping cranes come to rest at the Little Salt Marsh at Quivira National Wildlife Refuge in 2010.

“Statistically, their peak movement is the last week of March and the first two weeks of April,” said Barry Jones, visitor services specialist at the refuge, in Stafford County.

The arrival of the whoopers generally signals the spring migration. But there are signs that spring has arrived.

Already, flocks of sandhill cranes have been passing through the refuge on their way to the staging grounds on Nebraska’s Platte River. Other birds – four tundra swans were spotted in Quivira along with a handful of pelicans, 200 Baird’s sandpipers and thousands of ducks – are resting in the water-filled marshes.

Read more here: Signs of Spring

 

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304 Wild Whooping Cranes Estimated – Great

Whooping Crane Update

Wade Harrell, U.S. Whooping Crane Recovery Coordinator

Winter 2013-2014 Whooping Crane Survey Results 
304 Wild Whooping Cranes Estimated

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has estimated the number of whooping cranes in the Aransas-Wood Buffalo population present in the primary survey area centered on Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. Preliminary analyses of the data indicated 304 whooping cranes (95% CI = 260–354; CV = 0.08) inhabited the primary survey area (see map). This estimate includes 39 juveniles (95% CI = 32–47; CV = 0.10) and 116 adult pairs (95% CI = 100–135; CV = 0.08). Recruitment of juveniles into the winter flock was 15 chicks (95% CI = 13–17; CV = 0.07) per 100 adults. The precision of this year’s estimates was improved and achieved the target set in the protocol (i.e., CV < 0.10). Improved precision is due to increased observer experience and refinement of methods.

During winter 2012–2013, 257 whooping cranes (95% CI = 178–362; CV = 0.19) were estimated in the primary survey area and during winter 2011–2012, 254 whooping cranes (95% CI = 198–324; CV = 0.13) were estimated. Examination of the 60-year trend in whooping crane numbers shows an increase with occasional, periodic declines. A continued upward trend in whooping crane numbers over the last three years was observed, and is consistent with the long-term growth trend.
SurveyArea_520
During winter 2013–2014, the primary survey area (approximately 154,000 acres) was surveyed seven times between 11 December and 23 December 2013. During the same period, the secondary survey area (approximately 101,500 acres) was surveyed twice to monitor ongoing expansion of the whooping crane’s winter range.

The data and results presented in this report are preliminary and subject to revision. This information is distributed solely for the purpose of providing the most recent information from aerial surveys. This information does not represent and should not be construed to represent any U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determination or policy.

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