North American Crane Working Group


Date of this Version


Document Type



Proceedings of the North American Crane Workshop 14:i-xii


Copyright © 2018 North American Crane Working Group. Used by permission.


List of Previous Proceedings of the North American Crane Workshops:

Suggested citation formats


Memorials: ROBERT H. HORWICH 1940-2017; WILLIAM A. LISHMAN 1939-2017; THEODORE A. BOOKHOUT 1931-2018; JAMES T. HARRIS 1950-2018


Front and back covers

The North American Crane Working Group (NACWG) is an organization of professional biologists, aviculturists, land managers, non-professional crane enthusiasts, and others interested in and dedicated to the conservation of cranes and crane habitats in North America. Our group meets approximately every 3 years to exchange information pertaining to sandhill cranes and whooping cranes and occasionally reports about some of the other cranes species. The NACWG held the 14th North American Crane Workshop in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on 12-13 January 2017 preceded on 11 January by a social at the Chattanooga Zoo, and followed by field trips to nearby Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge on 14 January and to Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge (near Decatur, Alabama) on 15 January. The field trips coincided with the crane festivals held annually at both sites. Board member David Aborn did an outstanding job with local planning and arrangements. There were 70 registrants. The scientific program consisted of 37 oral and 14 poster presentations on North American cranes. Both field trip locations are major wintering areas for sandhill cranes and whooping cranes, and unusually warm weather resulted in great viewing.

The L. H. Walkinshaw Crane Conservation Award, NACWG’s highest honor, was presented to Tom Stehn (Frontispiece). A special Award of Recognition was presented to local resident Ken Dubke, who was instrumental in Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge becoming a major sandhill crane migration stopover and wintering area and in raising historical awareness that led to creation of the Cherokee Removal Memorial. For many years Ken organized the annual Sandhill Crane and Cherokee Heritage Festival. During the NACWG business meeting, members voted to increase the size of the NACWG Board of Directors to 11 members, including a student representative; these currently include President Richard Urbanek, Vice-president Sammy King, Treasurer Barry Hartup, Secretary Daryl Henderson, David Aborn, Tommy Michot, Glenn Olsen, and new members George Archibald, Megan Brown, Paige Smith, and Hillary Thompson.

The papers in these Proceedings represent 8 presentations from the workshop and 10 manuscripts submitted later. Abstracts of oral and poster presentations for which a paper is not published here are included at the end of the volume. Papers submitted for publication in the Proceedings are peer-reviewed according to scientific journal standards. We thank the following referees for their contribution to the quality of this volume: Ken F. Abraham, Jeb A. Barzen, David A. Brandt, Daniel P. Collins, Timothy A. Dellinger, Bruce D. Dugger, Taylor A. Finger, David L. Fronczak, Jeremy E. Guinn, Matthew A. Hayes, Jerome J. Howard, Gary L. Ivey, Eileen M. Kirsch, Susan N. Knowles, Anne E. Lacy, James R. Lovvorn, Robert G. McLean, Misty E. McPhee, Kim A. Miller, Neal D. Niemuth, Lovisa Nilsson, Gunter Nowald, Glenn H. Olsen, David Olson, Aaron T. Pearse, Brandon S. Reishus, Lisa A. Shender, Andrew P. Stetter, Thomas V. Stehn, Eva K. Szyszkoski, Josh L. Vest, Scott J. Werner, Brook J. Wilke, Jeffrey R. Wozniak, and Sara E. Zimorski. Daryl S. Henderson and Sara E. Zimorski were instrumental in final editing and proofing.

This volume retains use of the genus Grus for 4 crane species (sarus, brolga, white-naped, and sandhill). Until analysis of nuclear DNA supports reclassification, the NACWG will continue to endorse the conclusions of Krajewski et al. (2010, Auk 127:440-452) and Krajewski (2018, Chapter 2 in Whooping Cranes: Biology and Conservation, Academic Press). Krajewski (personal communication, 2016) considers recent reclassification to the genus Antigone to be premature.