Great Plains Natural Science Society


The Prairie Naturalist

Date of this Version


Document Type



The Prairie Naturalist 45: 91–93; December 2013


Published by the Great Plains Natural Science Society, 2013. United States government work. Public domain material.


Whooping cranes (Grus americana) currently consist of a single, wild population that migrates annually from breeding grounds at Wood Buffalo National Park, Canada, to wintering grounds on and around the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge along the Texas coast, USA (NRC 2005). This population reached a low of less than 20 individuals in 1941 (Allen 1952) but has rebounded to over 250 individuals (Chavez-Ramirez and Wehtje 2012, Gil-Weir et al. 2012). Whooping cranes migrate approximately 4,000 km each spring and autumn, traversing much of the North American Great Plains (Lewis 1995) and periodically landing along rivers, wetlands, and other shallow bodies of water for short-duration stopovers (Austin and Richert 2001).

Our observations represent some of the few published accounts of a frog species being consumed by whooping cranes along the Central Flyway.