North American Crane Working Group


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Bishop, Mary Anne. "Habitat Use by Florida Sandhill Cranes on the Kissimmee Prairie in Central Florida.", In: Stahlecker D. W., ed. 1992. Proceedings of the Sixth North American Crane Workshop, Oct. 3-5, 1991, Regina, Sask. (Grand Island, NE.: North American Crane Working Group, 1992), 175.


Conference co-sponsored by the Canadian Wildlife Service, Saskatchewan Parks and Renewable Resources Department, and the Whooping Crane Conservation Association, Canadian Council. Proceedings used by permission of the North American Crane Working Group.


Radio-tagged Florida sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis pratensis) were monitored for habitat use during 1985 and 1986 on the Kissimmee Prairie in central Florida. For both breeding and nonbreeding cranes, 93 % of the daytime locations were in 3 habitat types: cropland and plowed pasture, improved pasture, and palustrine emergent wetlands. Improved pasture was the most frequently used daytime habitat for both social classes. Radio locations were divided among 4 time blocks (3 diurnal, 1 nocturnal) and 4 3-month seasons. Time-of-day effects for use of wetlands and improved pasture were only marginally significant (1' < 0.08 and l' < 0.09, respectively) for breeders and not significant (1' < 0.30 and l' < 0.43, respectively) for nonbreeders. There was no significant difference in habitat use by breeders among seasons. Chi-square analyses of diurnal locations indicated that 4 of the 6 breeding cranes monitored used palustrine emergent wetlands more than their availability. The selection for wetlands reflects not only the rich food sources available, but also their use as midday loafing and drinking sites and as a source of cover that the upland habitats do not offer.