North American Crane Working Group


Date of this Version


Document Type



Mirande, Claire M., James W. Carpenter, and Ann M. Burke. The effect of disturbance on the reproduction and management of captive cranes. In: Urbanek RP, Stahlecker DW, eds. 1997. Proceedings of the Seventh North American Crane Workshop, 1996 Jan 10-13, Biloxi, Mississippi. Grand Island, NE: North American Crane Working Group. pp. 56-61.


Used by permission of the North American Crane Working Group.


A retrospective analysis of egg laying histories and observations of crane pairs at the International Crane Foundation and the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center indicates that disturbance associated with captivity has adverse impacts on captive breeding. Females on public display laid significantly fewer eggs than those off display (P < 0.05). Crane pairs moved to other pens (other than adjacent pens) or hetween facilities laid slightly fewer eggs than those birds which were not moved. although the results were not statistically significant (P = 0.188). Pen design and construction also appeared to have adverse impacts on breeding. In addition, human activities, intraspecific interactions, and rearing methods influence a bird's response to disturbance, and, therefore, these factors must also be considered in an effective crane management program. Modifying procedures to minimize disturbance, timing necessary disturbances after the breeding and molt seasons, and carefully monitoring birds for signs of stress can result in increased reproductive potential for captive, endangered cranes.