North American Crane Working Group


Date of this Version


Document Type



Lewis, J.C., and F.G. Cooch. Introduction of whooping cranes in eastern North America. 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. 301-305.


Used by permission of the North American Crane Working Group.


Whooping cranes (Grus americana) historically occurred throughout most of North America. A migration route last used prior to 1857 crossed the Appalachians to Atlantic Coast wintering grounds in coastal areas of New Jersey, South Carolina and river deltas farther south. The species disappeared from most eastern North American locations in the late 1800's. The winter 1987 population consisted of 43 captive birds and 154 in 2 wild subpopulations. Pursuant to both Canadian and u.s. recovery plans, sites in Michigan-Ontario, Georgia and Rorida are being considered as potential release locations for establishing an eastern population. Cross-fostering, gentle release and other introduction techniques are being considered to effect that release.