Another Record Year for Whooping Cranes

Whooping Cranes
Whooping Cranes
U.S. Fish and Wildlife
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Washington DC – -( 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 or by calling (361) 286-3559.

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