Friends of the Wild Whoopers (FOTWW) knows that more secure Whooping Crane habitat, particularly along the Texas coast is an important need today. And the need is escalating each year. In 1941 there were only 16 Whooping Cranes and they wintered on what is now known as Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. Their population has now increased to over 300. The Aransas and Matagorda Island Refuge complex combined total 115,931 acres. According to FOTWW’s Whooping Crane Science Advisor Dr. Felipe Chavez-Ramirez: “As the Whooping Crane population has increased they have expanded their winter range so that today, only about half of the winter range is within these protected areas of Aransas and Matagorda Island National Wildlife Refuges.“
Government agencies and private conservation groups are well aware of the needs for more secure habitat. There are ongoing efforts to acquire some of these. FOTWW primary mission is to help preserve and protect the Aransas/Wood Buffalo population of wild whooping cranes and their habitat. Our number one goal is to acquire secure resting/feeding sites along the whooping crane migration corridor which includes the Texas coast in the vicinity of Aransas Refuge. We have established a Whooping Crane Habitat Fund which will be used only to acquire habitat for the Aransas/Wood Buffalo population of wild whooping cranes. Anyone can donate to this special fund by check or credit card. To donate, click on Habitat For Whooping Cranes.
Acquiring Whooper habitats can be accomplished by fee-simple purchase, conservation easements or donations. This need for additional habitat has magnified due to some unfortunate situations in recent years. Dr. Felipe Chavez-Ramirez advises that: “The importance of protecting actual and potential wild Whooping Crane wintering grounds has taken greater significance in recent years as attempts to establish reintroduced populations have not succeeded in establishing self- sustaining populations in other areas. Under the conditions outlined in the Whooping Crane Recovery Plan for potential down listing is that if no self-sustaining reintroduced populations have been established then at least 250 breeding pairs (1,000 individuals) should be in the wild population. This means that we need to ensure that at least there is sufficient acres to support 250 breeding pairs on the Texas coasts.” Click on link to read entire article: habitat needs.
***** FOTWW’s mission is to help preserve and protect the Aransas/Wood Buffalo
population of wild whooping cranes and their habitat. *****