North American Crane Working Group


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Drewien, R.C., W.M. Brown, and K.R. Clegg. Longevity records of Rocky Mountain greater sandhill cranes banded during 1969-1987 in Idaho, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming. In: Hartup, Barry K., ed., Proceedings of the Eleventh North American Crane Workshop, Sep 23-27, 2008, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin (Baraboo, WI: North American Crane Working Group, 2010), pp. 199.


Reproduced by permission of the North American Crane Working Group.


Cranes species throughout the world are renowned for their longevity; however, most records are based on individuals in captivity. We compiled longevity records for wild Rocky Mountain greater sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis tabida) banded in Idaho, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming during 1969-1987. Our analysis was based on over 180 band recoveries and over 1,700 visual observations of known-age individually marked birds from 1969 to 2008. We present only those birds of age >20 years for this summary. Our results yielded 56 birds known to be >20 yrs of age when killed or last observed. Of 7 band recoveries, 7 birds were shot in hunts and 1 died from entanglement in a barbed wire fence. The oldest birds were 35 and 37 years of age when recovered. Of 49 birds >20 years since last observed, the oldest had reached 35 years. Two others marked as adults reached a minimum of 29 years to a maximum of 35 years of age.