North American Crane Working Group


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Ellis, David H., Clauss, Brian, Watanabe, Tsuyoshi, Mykut, R. Curt, Shawkey, Matt, Mummert, Daniel P., Sprague, Daniel T., Ellis, Catherine H., and Trahan, F. Benjamin. Results of the second (1996) experiment to lead cranes on migration behind a motorized ground vehicle. 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. 122-126.


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


Fourteen greater sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis tabida) were trained to follow a specially-equipped truck and 12 were led along a ca 620-Ian route from Camp Navajo in northern Arizona to the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge near the ArizonalMexico border. Ten survived the trek, 380 Ian of which were flown, although only a few cranes flew every stage of the route. Major problems during the migration were powerline collisions (ca 15, 2 fatal) and overheating (when air temperatures exceeded ca 25° C). The tenacity of the cranes in following both in 1995 and 1996 under unfavorable conditions (e.g., poor light, exireme dust, or heat) demonstrated that cranes could be led over long distances by motorized vehicles on the ground.