Whooping crane breeding pair surveys were carried out by the Canadian Wildlife Service May 16-19, 2008 in Wood Buffalo National Park. They located 72 territorial pairs; 6 of the territorial pairs were not breeding this year, resulting in a record 66 nests. This was one more nest than last year. In addition, they discovered another 12 subadult pairs for a total of 84 pairs. Single cranes were scattered throughout the nesting area. Surveys scheduled for mid-June will document the number of chicks that hatch.
Habitat conditions on the breeding grounds in the northeastern corner of Wood Buffalo National Park and adjacent areas were better than expected. At weather stations on either side of the nesting area, below normal snowfall levels were reported. However there was an abundance of rain during late August and September of 2007. These higher than expected water levels resulted in normal to above normal habitat conditions through out the majority of the nesting area.
Whooping Crane Coordinator
Canadian Wildlife Service
Tom Stehn, Whooping Crane Coordinator
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
P.O. Box 100
Austwell, TX 77950
(361) 286-3559 Ext. 221
fax (361) 286-3722
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Where applicable, CWS stands for Canadian Wildlife Service; USFWS is US Fish and Wildlife Service. Crane monitoring involves cooperative efforts and support by both countries, plus many volunteers and non-profit organizations along the way.