North American Crane Working Group


Date of this Version


Document Type



Olsen, Glenn H., and George F. Gee. Causes of Mississippi sandhill crane mortality in captivity, 1984-1995. 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. 249-52.


Used by permission of the North American Crane Working Group.


During 1984-95, 111 deaths were documented in the captive flock of Mississippi sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis pulla) housed at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. Trauma was the leading cause of death (37%), followed by infectious/parasitic diseases (25%), anatomic abnormalities (15%), and miscellaneous (8%). No positive diagnosis of cause of death was found in 19% of the necropsies. Chicks < 2 months old suffered 76 % of captive deaths. Trauma, the greatest cause of deaths of captive juveniles and adults, is likely limited to collisions in the wild. Infectious/parasitic diseases and anatomic abnormalities could affect wild chick survival at similar rates to those of captive chicks.