US Geological Survey


Date of this Version



Published by U.S. Department of the Interior/U.S. Geological Survey.
Fact Sheet 2005-3029.
April 2005.


Each spring approximately 500,000 sandhill cranes and some endangered whooping cranes use the Central Platte River Valley in Nebraska as a staging habitat during their migration north to breeding and nesting grounds in Canada, Alaska, and the Siberian Arctic. Over the last century changes in the flow of the river have altered the river channels and the distribution of roost sites. USGS researchers studied linkages between water flow, sediment supply, channel morphology, and preferred sites for crane roosting. These results are useful for estimating crane populations and for providing resource managers with techniques to understand crane habitats.