Date of this Version
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NORTH AMERICAN CRANE WORKSHOP 14:126-131
Whooping cranes (Grus americana) of the Aransas-Wood Buffalo Population migrate 4,000 km twice each year between their nesting grounds in northern Canada and their wintering grounds on the Texas Gulf Coast. During migration, whooping cranes must land at suitable ponds or wetlands to feed or rest. The Whooping Crane Recovery Plan calls for the protection and management of whooping crane stopover locations within the migration corridor. While major stopover areas have been protected, many other smaller sites remain to be identified. Moreover, the Recovery Plan offers no specific entity to protect and manage the latter. To address these gaps in information and activity, Friends of the Wild Whoopers engaged with large land-holding entities (military bases and Indian Reservations) within the migration corridor to share information about whooping cranes and their habitat needs and identify suitable stopover sites that could be protected and managed for cranes. This cooperative effort identified up to 177 wetlands/ponds as potential stopover sites on 14 military bases in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, and as many as 1,275 on 6 Indian Reservations in North and South Dakota, with commitments to manage the habitats as resources allow.