Date: March 16, 2015
Contact: Wade Harrell, 361/286-3559, firstname.lastname@example.org; Beth Ullenberg, 505/248-6638, email@example.com .
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has completed aerial surveys of the Aransas-Wood Buffalo whooping crane population, the only surviving wild population of whooping cranes in the world. Wade Harrell, U.S. Whooping Crane Recovery Coordinator told Friends of the Wild Whoopers that, “Preliminary survey data indicated 308 whooping cranes, including 39 juveniles, in the primary survey area (approximately 153,200 acres) centered on Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. Six birds were spotted outside the primary survey area.” The survey shows an upward trend in whooping crane abundance over the last four years.
Whooping cranes are one of the rarest birds in North America and are highly endangered. Cranes can survive more than twenty-five years in the wild. Adults generally reach reproductive age at four or five years, and then lay two eggs, usually rearing only one chick.
“Recruitment of young birds into the adult population is extremely important to the recovery of the species,” stated Wade Harrell, U.S. Whooping Crane Recovery Coordinator. “We were thrilled to see preliminary survey numbers included 39 juvenile birds.”
More information about the survey and whooping cranes can be found on the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge website at http://www.fws.gov/refuge/Aransas/ or by calling (361) 286-3559.
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service.
For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov. Connect with our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/usfws, follow our tweets at www.twitter.com/usfwshq, watch our YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/usfws and download photos from our Flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwshq. – http://www.southwest.fws.gov
***** 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.