In a posting on the Whooping Crane Conservation Association (WCCA) website, Chester McConnell reported that WCCA President, Lorne Scott, has written to Department of the Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar, to urge the resumption of regular aerial total population counts of Whooping cranes on Aransas National Wildlife Refuge.
After the retirement of Whooping Crane Coordinator, Tom Stehn, USFWS discontinued the aerial census of the Wood Buffalo-Aransas population. The new method uses hierarchical distance sampling.
In his letter to Secretary Salazar, President Scott said, “The WCCA sees the total count census as the most practical, economical and having the most scientific value”. Citing the the Service’s “2011-2012 estimate of 254 plus or minus 62 Whooping Cranes”, Scott wrote, “This degree of uncertainty for a critically endangered species is simply unacceptable.”
Read President Scott’s letter to Mr. Salazar here.