Local Texas Master Naturalists monitor whooping cranes

A juvenile whooping crane at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge.

Thirty-seven whooping crane chicks fledged in Canada, officials announced Wednesday.

The chicks join a flock of the endangered birds that typically land on the Texas coast in October to spend the winter eating blue crabs and wolfberries.

Rhona Kindopp, the manager of resource conservation at Wood Buffalo National Park, relayed the number to the Victoria Advocate on Wednesday. She added that earlier this month, Parks Canada and the Canadian Wildlife Service counted 36 breeding pairs in and around the park.

The flock had gown to about 505 birds at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in winter 2017. The numbers for 2018 have not been released.

Whooping cranes have been considered endangered since 1967, before Congress passed the Endangered Species Act.

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Jessica Priest reports on the environment and Calhoun County for the Victoria Advocate. She may be reached at jpriest@vicad.com or 361-580-6521.

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Former Environment/Investigations Reporter

Jessica Priest worked for the Victoria Advocate from August 2012-September 2019, first as the courts reporter and then as the environment/investigations reporter. Read her work now at www.jessicapriest.me.

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