North American Crane Working Group

 

Date of this Version

1992

Document Type

Article

Citation

Bennett, A.J. Habitat use by Florida Sandhill cranes in the Okenfenokee Swamp, Georgia. In: Wood D. A., ed. 1992. Proceedings 1988 North American Crane Workshop, Feb. 22–24, 1988. Lake Wales, Florida (Tallahassee, FL: State of Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission Nongame Wildlife Program Technical Report #12, 1992), pp. 121-130.

Comments

Used by permission of the North American Crane Working Group.

Abstract

Habitat selection by Florida sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis pratensis) in the Okefenokee Swamp was studied 1985-87. Wetland habitats were used exclusively. Herbaceous emergent marsh was the only habitat selected throughout the year. Although composing only 12.6% of the Swamp, such marsh received 54.8% use. Use of macrophyte emergent marsh (aquatic bed) peaked during summer and averaged 24.2% throughout the year. Shrub-scrub marsh, used for nesting, received 14.2% use. Habitat selection by adults and subadults (1-3 year-olds) was similar. Significant differences occurred only in spring when adults utilized Carex sp. and shrub-scrub marsh for nesting. Water depths in the marshes and seasonal food preferences were the primary factors controlling seasonal habitat use. During the summer dry season cranes were able to exploit all marsh habitat types. When water depths exceeded 30 cm (normally fall and winter), cranes were limited to the drier cover types and floating peat batteries