North American Crane Working Group

 

Date of this Version

1992

Document Type

Article

Citation

Morkill, Anne E., and Stanley H. Anderson. "Behavior of Sandhill Cranes Near Powerlines Marked With Yellow Aviation Balls.", In: Stahlecker D. W., ed. 1992. Proceedings of the Sixth North American Crane Workshop, Oct. 3-5, 1991, Regina, Sask. (Grand Island, NE.: North American Crane Working Group, 1992), In: Stahlecker D. W., ed. 1992. Proceedings of the Sixth North American Crane Workshop, Oct. 3-5, 1991, Regina, Sask. (Grand Island, NE.: North American Crane Working Group, 1992), 177.

Comments

Conference co-sponsored by the Canadian Wildlife Service, Saskatchewan Parks and Renewable Resources Department, and the Whooping Crane Conservation Association, Canadian Council. Proceedings used by permission of the North American Crane Working Group.

Abstract

The principal known cause of mortality for wild whooping cranes (Grus americana) is collision with powerlines. Methods to minimize powerline collisions will contribute to the species' long term recovery. We studied the flight behavior of sandhill cranes (G. canadensis) near powerlines marked with yellow aviation balls near the Platte River, Nebraska, in 1988-90. An age ratio of 24 juveniles:76 adults of 84 carcasses found under powerlines was significantly different from typical population ratios of 12: 88 for this species. Two-way contingency table analysis of crane flight behavior data indicated that cranes avoided markers (P < 0.(01), reducing the potential for collision. Proximity ofpowerlines to habitats used by cranes (P < 0.001), wind speed (P < 0.05), and age of bird (P < 0.(01) were important factors contributing to crane collisions with powerlines in Nebraska. Details are available in Wildl. Soc. Bull. 19(4):442-449.