U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version


Document Type



Barzen, J. and K. Ballinger. 2017. Sandhill and Whooping Cranes. Wildlife Damage Management Technical Series. USDA, APHIS, WS National Wildlife Research Center. Ft. Collins, Colorado. 16p.


As sandhill crane populations continue to grow in the United States, so too does crop damage, property damage to homeowners, and the risk of crane collisions with aircraft. Whooping crane populations also continue to grow, but with a global population of about 500 individuals (as of 2017), damage is rare and problems often require different solutions due to the species’ endangered status. The behavioral characteristics and habitat needs of sandhill and whooping cranes set the stage for conflict between these birds and people. Recognizing behavioral differences between territorial and non-territorial cranes greatly improves the effectiveness of any management effort.

Human-Wildlife Conflicts

Damage Identification

Management Methods


Species Overview

Legal Status

Glossary & Key Words