North American Crane Working Group


Date of this Version


Document Type



Montgomery Jr., J.B. Trends in sandhill crane numbers in eastern New Mexico. In: Folk, MJ and SA Nesbitt, eds. 2008. Proceedings of the Tenth North American Crane Workshop, Feb. 7-10, 2006, Zacatecas City, Zacatecas, Mexico: North American Crane Working Group. pp. 37-39.


Reproduced by permission of the North American Crane Working Group.


Following a 1980s decline in the number of cranes in the Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge area of the Pecos River Valley in eastern New Mexico, peak fall migration numbers increased from 5,640 in 1989-90 to 15,790 in 2003-04 and 13,650 in 2004-05. Concurrently, hectares of corn grown for silage to feed dairy cows increased from 1,781 in 1989 to 8,013 in 2003 and 7,325 in 2004. The population goals of the NM Department of Game and Fish are being met but a downturn in the dairy industry could result in a decline in crane numbers.