Nonprofit hires whooping crane outreach coordinator

Dec. 4, 2017 at 9:12 p.m.
Updated Dec. 5, 2017 at 4:34 p.m.

Two whooping cranes attempt to catch a snake in Rockport.

Two whooping cranes attempt to catch a snake in Rockport.   Angela Piazza for The Victoria Advocate

The International Crane Foundation recently hired a whooping crane outreach coordinator for its Texas office thanks to the Houston Zoo, which is funding the position indefinitely.

The coordinator is Corinna Holfus, of Houston.

She will develop an awareness and a commitment to safeguard the endangered species by partnering with other agencies, nonprofits, hunters and landowners.

Holfus previously worked for Aster Canyon Consulting in Wyoming, where she conducted vegetation and wildlife surveys.

She has a Bachelor of Science degree in wildlife biology from Texas State University.

Holfus' office is in Corpus Christi with other foundation staff displaced by Hurricane Harvey.

The foundation is looking for new office space on the Texas Gulf Coast.

To help cover costs incurred by storm damage, the Houston Zoo also donated about $10,000 to the foundation's Hurricane Harvey Rebuild in Rockport Campaign.

Holfus' hire is timely because the whooping cranes have returned to Aransas National Wildlife Refuge to spend the winter.

The whooping cranes found some vegetative damage from Harvey's storm surge and increased salinity in the inland freshwater ponds that they rely on for drinking.

The foundation and its partners are working to replace the pond's damaged groundwater pumps.

Tim Grunewald, the International Crane Foundation's North America program director, thanked the Houston Zoo for its generosity.

"The uniqueness of having the world's only naturally producing flock of whooping cranes choosing to winter on the Texas coast is something to cherish, take pride in and celebrate," he said.



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