Pandemic cancels whooping crane count

Pandemic restrictions have prompted officials to cancel the annual whooping crane count in Texas.
Credit: Steve Hillebrand/USFWS

The coronavirus pandemic has prompted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to cancel a count of whooping cranes (Grus americana) around the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Texas — the first time in 71 years that the aerial survey was canceled. The effort calls for a pilot and two observers two make about six flights in a small plane. The pandemic also prevented Canada’s Wood Buffalo National Park from making its usual count. Pandemic restrictions also affected the ability of captive breeding programs to add juveniles to flocks in the wild.

Read more from the Associated Press.