Washington DC – -(Ammoland.com)- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has completed analysis of aerial surveys of the Aransas-Wood Buffalo whooping crane population, the only surviving wild population of whooping cranes in the world.
Preliminary survey data indicated 329 whooping cranes, including 38 juveniles, in the primary survey area (approximately 153,200 acres) centered on Aransas National Wildlife Refuge near Austwell, Texas.
At least nine birds were noted outside the primary survey area. The survey shows an upward trend in whooping crane abundance over the last five years. Last year, 308 whooping cranes were estimated in the primary survey area.
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.
“This is the highest survey estimate ever documented for this population of whooping cranes,” stated Wade Harrell, U.S. Whooping Crane Recovery Coordinator. “We are thrilled to see that these birds continue to increase in number after being so close to extinction only 75 years ago.”
More information about the survey and whooping cranes can be found on the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge website at https://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.