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A Talk on the Wild Side.

Let's Go Outside! Featured Refuge Events for the Week of December 19th

Well, it's here - the end of the year is upon us.  Looking for something to do to celebrate a new year? Ring in the holidays with events at a refuge!  

Here are some of the events happening at refuges across the country through the end of December. Check out this link for even more events happening in December on our refuges, including the nearly century old tradition sponsored by the Audobon Society - the Christmas bird count!

As always, make sure you head over to the Refuge System's homepage and use their searchable map to find events at a Wildlife Refuge near you.

Let's go outside!

Christmas bird count, Nevada 2009Birders participating in the 2009 Christmas Bird Count at Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge

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Let's Go Outside! Featured Refuge Events for the Week of December 12th

Is holiday shopping, cooking, and preparing making you say "Bah-Humbug" more than "Happy Holidays!"?  Take a break from all the running around and head outside to get a breath of fresh air. Even though the temperature is dropping there are still things to do and see.

Here are some of the events happening at refuges across the country this week, some in the spirit of the season.  Check out this link for more events happening in December on our refuges.

As always, make sure you head over to the Refuge System's homepage and use their searchable map to find events at a Wildlife Refuge near you.

Let's go outside!

SnowshoeingGuests snowshoe at Des Lacs National Wildlife Refuge in the Mountain-Praire Region, Photo: Jennifer Jewett

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Texas: In Face of Climate Change, Coast Is Not Clear for Whooping Cranes

Two whooping cranes seem to be dancing across water as they take flight

A pair of whooping cranes skim over tidal marsh habitat at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Texas. Photo is for USFWS use only.

Video iconMultimedia: Video on YouTube; Podcast

Even though a record-breaking 281 whooping cranes wintered this past season at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge on the Gulf Coast of Texas, climate change is a major concern for the charismatic endangered species.

The primary threat to the cranes’ survival, according to Aransas Refuge manager Dan Alonso, is rapidly disappearing coastal habitat. Most of the habitat is being devoured by burgeoning real estate development along the Gulf of Mexico, but climate change is exacerbating the problem. A secondary concern related to climate change is the prospect of prolonged drought, which would reduce the flow of freshwater and leave marsh habitat unacceptably saline for cranes.

The Aransas Refuge population – the only natural flock of whooping cranes in North America – nests at Wood Buffalo National Park in Canada in spring and summer. From early fall to December, the cranes migrate in small groups to the Texas refuge. In early spring, they rush 2,500 miles back up to Canada in 15-16 days.

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