The fall migration of the last-remaining wild Whooping Crane flock has started! As they migrate south from Canada, the Whooping Cranes stop at critical wetlands, such as the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge in central Kansas, where they rest and refuel for the remainder of their flight.
What will the cranes find when they arrive in Texas? There was some vegetative damage from the storm surge from Hurricane Harvey and increased salinity in the inland freshwater ponds that the birds rely on for drinking. Our staff and partners are working to replace the damaged groundwater pumps for these ponds to replenish the freshwater. The bird’s primary food source, blue crabs, are very difficult to sample. But anecdotal observations indicate that they are not as abundant as usual. Wolfberries, a secondary food, appear to have flourished following the hurricane, which could be a saving grace.
We will be there to welcome the cranes and help ensure that they have a successful winter! Click here to help support our Whooping Crane protection efforts in Texas.