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.

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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Environment/Investigations Reporter

Jessica Priest has done a little bit of everything since moving to Victoria in 2012. She was a regular fixture in the Crossroads’ historic courthouses, but now slathers on the sunscreen to report on the environment.

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