North American Crane Working Group

 

Date of this Version

1992

Document Type

Article

Citation

Nagendran, Meenakshi. "Winter Release of Isolation-Reared Greater Sandhill Cranes in South Texas.", 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), 131-34.

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

During the summer of 1988, 7 greater sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis tabida) hatched from 15 eggs collected at Seney National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), Michigan, were isolation-reared at Welder Wildlife Refuge (WWR) near Sinton, Texas, and fitted with radio transmitters prior to fledging. Because of severe drought conditions on WWR. 3 surviving juveniles were moved to Laguna Atascosa NWR (LANWR) in south Texas and released on 27 January 1989. On 12 March 1989 they left LANWR with 3 wild cranes. They were relocated on 4 April in Rosebud, Texas. The 3 cranes were captured and transported to Grand Island, Nebraska. and fe-released on 7 April. They left the Platte River on 21 April with a large flock of wild cranes and migrated at least 160 km north before I lost radio contact with them. They reappeared in Waco, Texas, on 22 May, and in June they were 30 km from WWR. On 11 August, 2 surviving cranes returned to WWR; they were recaptured and transported to LANWR. In the absence of wild migrant cranes, the 2 remaining cranes began associating with domestic animals and humans. On 8 March 1990 they were removed from the wild because they displayed no intention to migrate with wild cranes. These birds showed a strong affinity for their natal area (WWR), suggesting that isolation-reared cranes should be released on breeding grounds rather than on wintering grounds.