North American Crane Working Group


Date of this Version


Document Type



Carpenter, J.W., D.M. Watts, G.G. Clark, T.W. Scott, D. Docherty, B.B. Pagac, J.M. Dorothy, J.G. Olson, and F.J. Dein. Prevention of Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus in captive cranes. In: Wood D. A., ed. 1992. Proceedings 1988 North American Crane Workshop, Feb. 22–24, 1988. Lake Wales, Florida (Tallahassee, FL: State of Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission Nongame Wildlife Program Technical Report #12, 1992), pp. 211-218.


Used by permission of the North American Crane Working Group.


An epizootic of eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus infection in 1984 resulted in death for 7 of 39 captive whooping cranes (Grus americana) at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. This represented the first known whooping crane deaths associated with this arboviral disease and posed a serious risk to the continued propagation of this endangered species. Subsequent research and surveillance procedures initiated to prevent EEE viral infections in captive whooping cranes included vector surveillance and control, virus surveillance through use of sentinel birds, immunoassays for rapid detection of EEE virus antigen in bird sera and in mosquitoes, and testing of an EEE virus vaccine in whooping cranes. Based on results of these efforts, we are optimistic that EEE virus can be effectively monitored and prevented and thus the risk of future infections can be reduced among captive whooping cranes.