North American Crane Working Group


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Swengel, Scott R., and Monica L. Tuite. Recent advances in scheduling strategies and practical techniques in crane artificial insemination. 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. 46-55.


Used by permission of the North American Crane Working Group.


We analyzed fertility patterns of 339 eggs laid 1985-93 at the International Crane Foundation by cranes whose sole means of fertility was artificial insemination (AI). Ten of 15 crane species were studied. Fertility rates increased significantly (P < 0.05) with (I) higher sperm density, (2) greater sperm motility, and (3) 2 vs. 1 vs. 0 inseminations 4-7 days before oviposition. Semen sample size was inversely related to sperm density and had no strong relationship with egg fertility. Inseminations less than 2.5-3.0 days before an egg is laid are probably too late to contribute to fertilizing the egg but may contribute substantially to fertilizing the next egg. We also describe practical knowledge gained during the past 10 years that apply to certain species or situations. Wattled cranes (Bugeranus carunculatus) have a long fertile period post-AI (up to 16 days), but may require more careful methods and special AI scheduling strategies. We also describe techniques for AI just after oviposition that are especially beneficial for Siberian cranes (Grus leucogeranus), and methods for maximizing sample delivery to the female.