Staff Report

For The Record

Port Aransas— At least 70 endangered whooping cranes have flown from Canada to a refuge in Texas. Improved numbers of the species are expected to winter on the Texas coast.

Texas’ winter flock of whooping cranes represents the last

remaining “natural” flock of whooping cranes in the wild, and, according

to Lee Ann Linam, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department biologist, Texas

plays an important role in the species’ future recovery.

Tom Stehn with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services says

the ground survey was done at the Aransas National

Wildlife Refuge. Sten on Thursday also said that last week’s cold snap

apparently led more whooping cranes to head south.

The Victoria Advocate reports six of 10 birds fitted with radio transmitters, for tracking, have arrived in Texas.

Stehn says there were 263 birds in the flock when they migrated

north last spring. Biologists expect 285 to 290 cranes this fall in


The flock summers in Wood Buffalo National Park in the Northwest

Territories of Canada. Stehn says there was plenty of water this year at

the breeding grounds, meaning improved conditions for survival.