North American Crane Working Group


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Abler, Wesley A. and Nesbitt, Stephen A. Translocation of Florida sandhill cranes to Georgia. In: Ellis, David H., ed., Proceedings of the Eighth North American Crane Workshop, 11–14 January 2000, Albuquerque, New Mexico (Seattle, Wash: North American Crane Working Group, 2001), pp. 73-79.


Reproduced by permission of the North American Crane Working Group (NACWG).


Wild Florida sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis pratensis) were captured in Florida during 3 years and translocated to Grand Bay Wildlife Management Area (GBWMA), Georgia, in an attempt to establish a resident population of Florida sandhill cranes in a location with suitable habitat but no known population of resident sandhill cranes. Translocated second-year subadult cranes commingled with migratory greater sandhill cranes (G. c. tabida) yet remained on GBWMA each year after the migratory birds left the area. Twenty-one of 35 released cranes were visually identified at least 5 months after release, 3 cranes more than 15 months following release, and 2 cranes 28 months after release. Six radio-fitted cranes were monitored more than 28 months following release. Successful reproduction of translocated cranes was also observed on the area (as many as 4 pairs of cranes were observed with chicks) which likely indicated the beginning of a residential population of cranes. The methods developed for this project may be useful for translocation of wild sandhill cranes into formerly occupied suitable habitats.