North American Crane Working Group


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Hartman, S., B. Reichenberg, J. Fanke, A.E. Lacy, and B.K. Hartup. Endoparasites of greater sandhill cranes in south-central Wisconsin. In: Hartup, Barry K., ed., Proceedings of the Eleventh North American Crane Workshop, Sep 23-27, 2008, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin (Baraboo, WI: North American Crane Working Group, 2010), pp. 186-188.


Reproduced by permission of the North American Crane Working Group.


Windingstad and Trainer (1977) used both fecal sampling and postmortem examinations to document the occurrence of parasites in greater sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis tabida) from Wisconsin in the fall. We conducted repeated fecal sampling of a well-known population to expand on results of their study. Our objective was to determine whether seasonal differences exist in the prevalence of endoparasites of Wisconsin sandhill cranes. We collected 7 to 10 fecal samples approximately every other week from a consistent roost site on the Wisconsin River (43°34'52.99''N, 89°36'38.42''W) near Briggsville, Wisconsin, from 29 May through 25 September 2008. The sample size was based on the assumption that endoparasite prevalence in this population was high: a single positive result would allow us to be 99% certain that the parasite was prevalent in 50% or greater of the crane population (Martin et al. 1987). Each anonymously collected fecal sample consisted of a single, fresh mass. Samples were collected into plastic bags and kept refrigerated until analysis (2-24 hours later). Three methods were used to detect parasites: a standard direct smear of feces in saline, fecal flotation in sodium nitrate solution (Ovatector, BGS Medical Products, Inc, Venice, FL.) (Greiner 1997), and examination of the uppermost layer of sediment 10 minutes following mixing of the sample with sodium nitrate.