Contact Information

Texas Nature Trackers
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744
(800) 792-1112 ext. 8062


Texas Nature Trackers: Texas Whooper Watch

In 1942, there were only 16 Whooping Cranes left in what was to be the last flock in the world, a small group of birds that wintered on the central Texas coast near Rockport and nested in northwestern Canada. Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, this last remaining band of Whooping Cranes still precipitously clung to existence with numbers in the 20s and 30s. Slowly, over time, with habitat conservation and protection from shooting, numbers climbed. As of December 2019 the Whooping Crane Conservation Association reports that there are nearly 700 wild Whooping Cranes and another 153 in captivity.

While the traditional wintering grounds on and near Aransas National Wildlife Refuge are well-known, biologists have much less information about locations used by Whooping Cranes in migration. In addition, as the Whooping Crane population continues to grow, whoopers are beginning to explore new wintering habitat away from traditional areas.

Texas Whooper Watch seeks the help of citizen scientists in identifying Whooping Crane migration stopover sites and non-traditional wintering areas, in assessing whether any hazards exist to whoopers at these sites, and in learning more about behavior and habitat use at these sites. We invite you to join the Texas Nature Trackers project Texas Whooper Watch to document sightings of Whooping cranes through iNaturalist.