North American Crane Working Group


Date of this Version


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Bishop, M.A. Land use status and trends of potential whooping crane release sites in central Florida. 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. 131-144.


Used by permission of the North American Crane Working Group.


Three areas in central Florida, identified as potential sites for the reintroduction of a nonmigratory flock of whooping cranes (Grus americana), were evaluated. and ranked as to their priority for reintroduction based on their land use status and trends. The Kissimmee Prairie, including Three Lakes Wildlife Management Area, Prairie-Lakes State Preserve, and the National Audubon Society's Kissimmee Prairie Sanctuary was ranked first, the Webb Wildlife Management Area second, and Myakka River State Park third. Primary criteria used for each site and its surrounding lands included acreage, ownership, management, public use, access, potential threats, and the potential to support expanding populations of Florida sandhill cranes (G. canadensis pratensis) and whooping cranes. The two sites situated in southwestern Florida - Myakka River State Park and Webb Wildlife Management Area - face increasing development pressures surrounding their boundaries. On the Kissimmee Prairie, relative isolation from major population centers and the presence of large, undeveloped family-owned and public landholdings provide optimum conditions for the reintroduction of whooping cranes.