North American Crane Working Group


Date of this Version


Document Type



Schlorff, R.W. Greater sandhill crane: Research and management in California since 1978. In Chavez-Ramirez, F, ed. 2005. Proceedings of the Ninth North American Crane Workshop, Jan 17-20, 2003. Sacramento, California: North American Crane Working Group. Pp. 155-166.


Reproduced by permission of the NACWG.


The greater sandhill crane (Grus canadensis tabida) was added to the California list of threatened species in 1983, and the subspecies has been the subject of research and management actions instituted by the California Department of Fish and Game (hereafter Department). Since 1978, the Department has conducted research and recovery actions including periodic breeding ground and wintering area studies, population monitoring, participated in developing Pacific Flyway crane management plans, acquisition and management of key habitats on breeding and wintering grounds, and developed a draft greater sandhill crane recovery strategy. These tasks were accomplished with the assistance of crane researchers and wildlife managers from throughout the United States. Highlights of the Department’s program of research, management, and planning activities for greater sandhill cranes are presented. Breeding ground studies indicate a population > 450 pairs exist on private and public lands, primarily in 6 northeastern California counties. Recruitment averaged 5.7% (1.7 sd) in the 1980s-90s. The Department continues actions to facilitate recovery of this threatened subspecies. Threats to cranes and their habitat that may impede recovery efforts are discussed.