Thursday, June 9, 2011

Survey finds 75 whooping crane nest in Canada

Victoria Advocate
Originally published June 8, 2011 at 11:03 p.m., updated June 8, 2011 at 11:03 p.m.

A survey of nesting whooping cranes in and around Wood Buffalo National Park in Canada detected a record 75 nests.

The Canadian Wildlife Service in Canada spent 17.7 hours in a Bell 206 helicopter and 7.1 hours in a Cessna 210 surveying the usual nesting territories, according to an email from Tom Stehn, whooping crane coordinator at the Aransas Wildlife Refuge.

The flight also showed some area being colonized by new nesting pairs.

In 2010, 74 nests were found, Stehn said in an email.

The habitat conditions look good so hopes are high to have a good production season and increase in the flock. Possibly 300 whooping cranes could make it to Aransas in the fall, where the birds winter, Stehn said.

The crew will revisit the nesting territories in August to assess productivity.

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