Support Whooping Crane Conservation on Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday
Giving Tuesday, November 29, 2016

After Thanksgiving, we had and survived Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Today, November 29th, is Giving Tuesday, a day dedicated as a global day of giving. Please join in on this growing tradition of Giving Tuesday by supporting Whooping Crane conservation and Friends of the Wild Whoopers, (FOTWW). By making a donation to FOTWW, you are supporting our work and efforts to ensure that the natural wild flock of Whooping Cranes and their habitat will be protected and healthy and that these magnificent cranes will always grace our skies and lands.

How to give

Won’t you please make a donation to FOTWW? If you wish to make a donation, please click on the “Donate” button, under the cover photo of our Facebook page or visit our website,  and click on the “Donate” button there.

Where your donation goes

For those who may not be totally familiar with FOTWW; We can assure you that 100% of your donation is for on the ground conservation/habitat management efforts because FOTWW is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and is an all volunteer organization, whose staff receives no salaries.

Help us, help the only natural wild flock of Whooping Cranes!

Thank you ~FOTWW

***** 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.

50th Anniversary of Whooping Crane International Partnership

50th Anniversary of Whooping Crane partnership

by Pam Bates, FOTWW

It is noteworthy that this year, 2016, marks the 50th anniversary of an international conservation partnership intended to save Whooping Cranes – North America’s tallest bird species. They nest and fledge in Canada’s Wood Buffalo National Park in the spring and winter in the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Texas. They travel 2,500 miles (5,500 kilometers) two times each year between their summer and winter habitats.
Parks Canada is taking this occasion to highlight what their conservation efforts have accomplished. Friends of the Wild Whoopers has examined their achievements and they are indeed impressive and continuing to show progress.

Wood Buffalo-Aransas Whooping Crane flock grows

Mike Keizer, External Relations Manager, Wood Buffalo explained that, “We have watched the Wood Buffalo-Aransas Whooping Crane flock grow from 48 birds in 1966 to 329 today.  In fact, there are almost as many chicks born this year as there were cranes in existence when this partnership began and when annual surveys began in 1966. The 2016 chick count in August 2016 found that 45 chicks were born in 2016. 43 Whooping Crane pairs had one juvenile each and one pair had two juveniles. Annual productivity was 0.57 juveniles per nest, well above than the 20-year average of 0.48 but within the long-term natural range of variation.

Keizer emphasized that, “We are proud of our Canada-USA partnership, of our work and commitment to this endangered species and to the steady progress we continue to see. On this 50th anniversary” we want to share the results of our work with Canadians and our United States friends.”

Successful international stewardship

“This example of successful international stewardship is a model for cooperation amongst conservation groups in the preservation of endangered species that cross international borders” emphasized Friends of the Wild Whoopers President Chester McConnell.

Canada has a network of protected areas, managed by Parks Canada, that play an important role to mitigate the impacts of climate change by protecting and restoring healthy, resilient ecosystems and contributing to the recovery of species at risk. Wood Buffalo National Park is one of those protected areas. It is Canada’s largest national park with 11,070,000 acres and supports numerous wildlife species.


***** 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.

50th Anniversary

Wild Whooping Cranes Need Your Support

Military Base project continuing

Friends of the Wild Whoopers is continuing to work with military bases to protect and improve Whooping Crane “stopover habitats”. These habitats are essential along the seven state Whooping Crane migration corridor. “Stopover habitats” allow the cranes to stop and rest during their 2,500 mile migration from Canada to the Texas coast.

Stopover habitats are being lost on private lands due to continuing development. Fortunately the U.S. military teamed up with us to help develop stopover habitats on military lands. To date we have been most successful with the stopover habitat project.

Your assistance needed

Now, we need assistance to continue traveling to the military installations. Our staff has been personally paying for travel and not asking for reimbursement. Thankfully one person who believes in our “stopover habitat” project did pay for our recent travel expenses to Oklahoma and Kansas.  We believe many of you will also be willing to chip in to help cover travel costs.

Help us to help the wild Whooping Cranes!

Wild Whooping Cranes


To send your donation by check or money order and to receive your shirt(s), please print out and send your FOTWW Donation/Shirt Form along with your donation to the address on the form. Make check or money order payable to: “Friends of the Wild Whoopers” and mail it to the address on the form.

Postage and handling anywhere in the U.S. is $7.00. Canada and other nations will be determined by Postal service. Please send us an email at

Thank you to everyone for your support.
FOTWW logo

***** 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.


Whooping Crane “Stopover Habitat” Project Continues Northward

By Chester McConnell, FOTWW

Whooping Crane “stopover habitat” project Management Team travels North

Efforts to identify, improve and protect Whooping Crane “stopover habitats” on military bases is a vital component in attempts to assist the only remaining wild Whooping Crane population on the planet. The Whooping Crane “stopover habitat” project Management Team traveled into Oklahoma and Kansas recently to continue evaluation of suitable sites on military lands. Stopover habitats are essential components of the ecosystems needs of Whooping Cranes.

Whooping Crane

— Beck Pond on Fort Riley, Kansas provides all the components for an excellent Whooping Crane “stopover habitat. Much of the shore is clear of tall vegetation and provides open space for a landing site. Pond banks have gradual slopes into the water and shallow areas for roosting sites. Much of the surrounding area is open which allows Whooping Cranes to observe predators. —

Whooping Crane habitat types

Basically there are three habitat types used by Whooping Cranes.
(1) Nesting habitat on Wood Buffalo National Park, Canada is vital for reproduction and adding more cranes to the population.

(2) Wintering habitat at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge on the Texas coast is likewise important to allow a warm place with abundant high quality food to allow cranes to rest and recuperate from the nesting season and long migration flights.

(3) Stopover habitats are essential all along the 2,500 mile migration corridor so Whooping Cranes can rest and feed during their long flights between Wood Buffalo and Aransas.

Whoopers must stopover 10 to 20 times to rest and feed during each of their two annual migration. Each of the three habitats types is essential to the survival of endangered Whoopers.

Wetland ponds evaluated

Sixteen wetland ponds were evaluated on three military installations by the Management Team from Friends of the Wild Whoopers (FOTWW) and Gulf Coast Bird Observatory (GCBO). Management recommendations were made that would improve and maintain these wetland ponds as prime stopover habitats. Importantly, many other wetland habitats are located on each base that could be relatively easily and inexpensively developed as stopover habitats if the need arises. Wildlife personnel on each base visited could bring additional ponds up to standard using the information provided to them by the Management Team.

We invite you to be a partner with us in this important stopover habitat project

We need your help. FOTWW’s travel expense (motels, auto expense, and meals) cost an average of $270 per day. If you would like to help, you can send us a donation by check, credit card, or PayPal. Please click here and then click on “become a Friend (member) of the Wild Whoopers”.

Please help us, help them!
FOTWW logo

***** 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.