Drought impacting whooping cranes of Wood Buffalo
This time last year, biologists at Wood Buffalo National Park were elated to count a record-breaking number of whooping crane nests in the park, but recent counts indicate that trend has not continued into 2015.
In this year’s annual nest count survey, Parks staff found only 68 nests compared to 82 last year. Though not an official part of the study, they also counted six chicks during the assessment period from May 25 to 29.
To complete the annual research, conservation officers fly in a grid over last year’s nest locations. If the nests are not found, they fly in ever-widening circles around old nest sites in hopes of finding the birds’ new mating grounds nearby. They can also track cranes that have been fitted with satellite location bands.
Parks staff believe the low nest count means the cranes have moved outside of this research grid, the result of drought in the region.
To read the entire article on the Northern Journal’s website, click here.
***** 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.