Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Long flight back to Aransas under way

Oct 21, 2012 | Victoria Advocate by Editorial Board | Related Press

We’re well into October, and there’s more than Halloween parties and trick-or-treaters approaching the Crossroads.

According to the Whooping Crane Conservation Association, the whooping cranes have begun their yearly migration back down to the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge for the winter. However, the milder weather this year means many of the birds have stopped farther north in their migration than in previous years.

We look forward to this migration every year, as this flock is one of two left in the world. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website, the species was once prevalent from central Canada south to Mexico and from Utah to the Atlantic coast. But by 1938, only two small flocks remained: a stationary flock in Louisiana and the migratory flock that winters in Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. In 1941, due to habitat loss and unregulated hunting, the migratory flock reached a population low of 15 birds and only six survived in Louisiana. By 1949, the Louisiana flock was gone, leaving the migratory flock as the last of its kind.


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