Tom Stehn was the 1949 Refuge Wildlife Biologist / Whooping Crane Coordinator.
Tom Stehn graduated from the University of Montana and began his career with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as an Outdoor Recreation Planner at Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge, along the Texas Coast. He went to Aransas NWS in 1982 and has been there ever since.
Stehn was appointed to the Whopping Crane Recovery Team in 1985 and the joint Canadian-U.S. Recovery Team in 1995. He has served as Whooping Crane Coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service since 1997.
Stehn has conducted census flights of whooping cranes for 18 consecutive years. He has participated in radio tracking of cranes between Aransas NWR and Wood Buffalo National Park in 1984 and 1985 and worked on the ultra light flight migration experiment between Idaho and New Mexico in 1987. His research on the erosion of whooping crane habitat along the inter coastal waterway of Texas lead to a $16 million Army Corps of Engineers project to restore winter habitat.
Stehn follows the whooping cranes with the seasons. He helps Canadian biologists count newly hatched chicks at Wood Buffalo National Park, tracks crane sightings throughout the migration corridor, then over winters at Aransas NWR with the whooping cranes.
‘The whopping crane is not yet safe. It’s going to take continual effort to ensure its’ survival’.