August 27, 2008
As reported by Brian Johns, the Canadian Wildlife Service has completed August fledgling surveys in Wood Buffalo National Park and surrounding areas. The flying weather was great and there were more young than expected. Water levels looked "pretty good".
They counted 41 total young surviving from the 64 chicks present in June that had hatched from a record 66 nests. The total of 41 chicks included 2 sets of twins, down from the 12 sets that had been present in June.
Three family groups present in June could not be found, so there could be 1 or 2 additional fledglings. However, additional mortality could occur this summer or in the fall migration. I'll be hoping to see the number of juveniles approaching 40 this winter at Aransas. Aransas had 39 juveniles last winter with a total record flock size of 266. I'm anticipating counting about 285 whooping cranes this winter.
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