North American Crane Working Group


Date of this Version


Document Type



McIvor, Donald E., and Michael R. Conover. "Sandhill Crane Habitat Use in Northeastern Utah and Southwestern Wyoming.", 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), 81-84.


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.


Patterns of habitat use by greater sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis tabida) were examined during April-July 1991 when crop damage attributed to cranes normally occurs. We conducted surveys weekJy along 37-km transects in Cache Valley, Utah, and bi-weekly in the Bear River Valley in Rich County, Utah, and Lincoln County. Wyoming. During the surveys, we sighted 1,235 cranes in 165 separate groups in pasture (55%), small grains (19%), riparian (8%), alfalfa (6%), corn (3%), and miscellaneous (9%) habitats. Cranes did not use habitats in proportion to their availability (P < 0.0005); they fed more in small grain fields and pasture-hay habitats. Depredations attributed to cranes have been reported in Cache Valley corn crops in spring and in Bear River Valley small grain crops in fall. Farmers with chronic depredation problems in small grains and corn may wish to cultivate crops less preferred by cranes.