Date of this Version
Littlefield, C.D. Impact of management changes at an autumn greater sandhill crane staging area in Oregon. In Chavez-Ramirez, F, ed. 2005. Proceedings of the Ninth North American Crane Workshop, Jan 17-20, 2003. Sacramento, California: North American Crane Working Group. Pp. 47-52.
Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Oregon was the most important autumn staging area for greater sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis tabida) in the northwest Pacific coastal states. During 1983-88, changes in management including increases in human disturbance and habitat alterations resulted in significant declines in autumn crane use. Compared with the period 1975-82, mean annual autumn crane peak numbers declined from 2,454 to 1,352, whereas mean biweekly numbers declined from 791 to 353. Management changes included roost site drying and flooding of a primary feeding area; disturbance factors included cattle herding through a loafing site and dump trucks traveling through a primary feeding area. Although Malheur was a traditional autumn staging area for greater sandhill cranes for at least 5 decades, management changes had contributed to greatly reduced use of the refuge staging area by 1988.