Date of this Version
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NORTH AMERICAN CRANE WORKSHOP 13:42-46
The Indiana Division of Fish and Wildlife conducts surveys from October to December to collect long-term data on greater sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis tabida). Results from these censuses contribute to a fall index of the Eastern Population, which informs wildlife management decisions and research priorities. Recent findings from the annual U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service Fall Sandhill Crane Migration Survey demonstrate a decline in the number of cranes observed at fall staging areas throughout Indiana since 1979. However, nationwide data exhibit a trend of population increase. I provide evidence to show that the apparent decline in the number of greater sandhill cranes migrating through Indiana does not indicate an actual decline in the Eastern Population but is a consequence of poor detection due to cranes migrating later each year. As a result, I suggest that survey periods be changed to later dates in the coming years to accommodate for this shift in migration chronology.