Nature

Record Number of Endangered Whooping Cranes Spotted in Texas

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Classified in 1967, biologists have continued to watch endangered whooping cranes for a sign of growing numbers and they found just that in December 2015.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service conducted a winter survey in December 2015 of endangered whooping cranes and recently released the results. As the Victoria Advocate reported, about 329 cranes were recorded and nine additional birds “were discovered beyond the primary wintering area.”

This number is considered a huge victory for conservationists everywhere as the winter of 2014-2015 saw about 308 birds. The widening of the population points to the awesome fact that “the endangered species is capable of finding suitable habitat as the population expands.”

About 218 acres have been secured near the Guadalupe Delta region, specifically in Calhoun and Refugio counties, to help the birds repopulate in efforts coordinated by the Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust.

Because Texas is considered the definite wintering area for whooping cranes, this sampling of the population is a key indicator that the species is expanding appropriately. Additionally, there is a wild flock of whooping cranes, the only one left, that is currently on its way back to Canada for the nesting season.

We can only hope that the population will continue expanding and this species can be moved from endangered to threatened in the coming years.