Whooping crane migration for the wild flock of whooping cranes appears to be well underway. Some whoopers have already arrived at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. The rest are scattered throughout the Central Flyway, including a few reported at Quivira NWF in Kansas and areas in Nebraska.
Recently small groups of the whooping cranes have been spotted migrating through Nebraska with a group of five spotted at Branched Oak Lake and a group of six spotted at the Father Hupp Wildlife Management Area, (WMA).
Father Hupp WMA in Thayer County, NE has been temporarily closed due to the presence of that group of six whooping cranes and will remain close until they leave the area. This temporary closure is intended to not only protect whooping cranes, but to also protect the public from accidentally disturbing or harming the birds, which is illegal under federal and state law.
To read more and view a short video and photographs of the whooping cranes in Nebraska on ‘Magazine Outdoor Nebraska’, click here.
Whooping cranes are an endangered species
The entire wild population of whooping cranes is protected by both the federal Endangered Species Act and the Nebraska Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation Act. Penalties for killing, possessing, or harassing whooping cranes or other species protected under these laws may include fines of up to $50,000, up to year in jail, or both.
Public encouraged to report any whooping crane sightings
In Nebraska, report any sightings to: Game and Parks (402-471-0641)
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (308-379-5562)
The Crane Trust’s Whooper Watch hotline (1-888-399-2824)
Emails may be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org
In Texas, report any sightings to:
Texas Parks & Wildlife’s Texas Whooper Watch
***** 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.