North American Crane Working Group

 

Date of this Version

1997

Document Type

Article

Citation

Nesbitt, Stephen A., and Thomas C. Tacha. Monogamy and productivity in sandhill cranes. In: Urbanek RP, Stahlecker DW, eds. 1997. Proceedings of the Seventh North American Crane Workshop, 1996 Jan 10-13, Biloxi, Mississippi. Grand Island, NE: North American Crane Working Group. pp. 10-13.

Comments

Used by permission of the North American Crane Working Group.

Abstract

Marked pairs of Florida (Grus canadensis pratensis) and greater sandhill cranes (G. c. tabida) were monitored for 426 pair-years. Among pair members, females averaged 3.7 ± 3.6 (SD) years older than males. Pair longevity was not correlated with pair productivity (P ~ 0.279) for pairs that were together >3 years. Forty-four percent of 72 Florida sandhill crane pair bonds were broken during the study, 67.7% due to death and 32.3 % to divorce. Among both Florida and greater sandhill cranes, the incidence of divorce was related to a failure to reproduce; 52.6% of pairs that failed to produce young divorced, while only 10% of pairs that divorced had a history of successful reproduction. The development of a monogamous mating strategy is tied to the need to secure and maintain exclusive territories in order to reproduce successfully.