North American Crane Working Group


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Mcmillen, J.L., S.A. Nesbitt, M.A. Bishop, A.J. Bennett, and L.A. Bennett. An evaluation of three areas for potential populations of whooping 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. 285-294.


Used by permission of the North American Crane Working Group.


Sandhill crane (Grus canadensis) populations were evaluated on the Seney NWR, Michigan, the Okefenokee Swamp, Georgia, and in southcentral Florida to evaluate their suitability to support introduced whooping cranes (G. americana). This paper compares data collected at these sites and additional data collected in northcentral Florida. The length of the egg-laying period varied from 4.5 months in central Florida to 1 month at Seney, but egg-laying ceased at all sites from mid-May to early June. Mean clutch sizes were similar 0.7-1.9). Renesting ranged from 79% in northcentral Florida to <=5% at Seney. These dates and values are consistent with nesting successes that ranged from 48% in northcentral Florida to 80% at Seney. Average annual recruitment, 12.3 juveniles/lOa adults, was highest on the Kissimmee Prairie in southcentral Florida. Average annual horne range size for the non-migratory populations were 1 km2 on the Okefenokee and 6.6 km2 on the Kissimmee. Nesting season horne range sizes ranged from 0.5 km2 on the Okefenokee to 1.8 km2 at Seney. All candidate populations successfully satisfied most of the guidelines for potential whooping crane populations as established by the Whooping Crane Recovery Team. Once reintroduction techniques have been refined, any or all of the study sites have the capacity to accommodate a flock of whooping cranes commensurate with Whooping Crane Recovery Team recommendations.