Project Updates – 2014


December_5December_15 | November_6 | October_1 | August_18July_16 | August_12June_15May_1June_5March_1December_2013


Whooping Crane Update – December 5-31, 2014

The map below indicates the last known location of the Whooping Cranes in the Eastern Migratory Population. This map does not include birds that have not been reported for over one month, are known to have moved from a previous location or that are long term missing.

General

Maximum size of the eastern migratory population at the end of the report period was 103 birds (54 males, 49 females). Estimated distribution at the end of the report period included 40 whooping cranes in Indiana, 7 in Illinois, 9 in Kentucky, 7 in Tennessee, 17 in Alabama, 3 in Georgia, 14 in Florida, 4 at unknown locations, 1 not recently reported and 1 long term missing. The total for Florida includes 7 newly released juveniles.

Mortality

The remains of male no. 5-13 were recently found at the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge in Wakulla County, Florida. His death apparently had occurred on Thanksgiving night.

2012 Cohort

Nos. 4-12 remained at the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, Wakulla County, Florida.

No. 5-12 remained at the St. Marks. National Wildlife Refuge, Wakulla County, Florida, until being chased away by no. 4-12 on 24 December. He was detected still in the area on 26 December. No subsequent reports.

No. 7-12 remained in Knox/Greene Counties, Indiana, throughout the report period and was observed associating with up to 10 different individuals.

No. 14-12 was found in Jackson County, Indiana, on 1 December and had left this location by 5 December. No subsequent reports.

No. 16-12 remained in Jackson County, Indiana, throughout the report period.

2013 Cohort

Nos. 2, 4, 7, and 8-13 remained on and near the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, Wakulla County, Florida, throughout the report period.

No. 9-13 continued south from Barren County, Kentucky, on 9 December. Satellite readings placed him at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, Alachua County, Florida, on the afternoon of 11 December where he remains.

No. 22-13 remained at the Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge, Meigs County, Tennessee, throughout the report period.

No. 24-13 remained in Knox/Greene Counties, Indiana, throughout the report period and was observed associating with up to 10 other individuals.

No. 57-13 remained in Jackson County, Indiana, through at least 21 December. No subsequent reports.

No. 59-13 remained at the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge, Morgan County, Alabama, throughout the report period.

2014 Cohort

Wild-hatched

No. W3-14 remained with her father in Greene County, Indiana, throughout the report period.

Ultralight

Seven juveniles in the ultralight-led cohort arrived at the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, Wakulla County, Florida, on 11 December. They were released from the top-netted pen on 19 December.

Parent-reared

No. 19-14 remained with pair nos. 7-07 and 39-07 at their wintering location in Lowndes County, Georgia, throughout the report period.

No.20-14 remained with pair nos. 9-05 and 13-03 in Greene County, Indiana. These three birds have been seen associating with pair nos. 8-04 and 19-05 at this location.

No. 27-14 remained with pair nos. 2-04 and 25-09 in Hopkins County, Kentucky, throughout the report period. Pairs nos. 24-09 and 42-09 as well as nos. 1-10 and W1-06 are also at this location. An additional pair was reported here on 24 December, however they have not yet been identified.

No recent reports

Female no. 27-10 was last detected on the Necedah NWR, Juneau County, Wisconsin on 22 April. Her transmitter is likely nonfunctional.

Long term missing

Female no. 2-11 was last reported at her wintering location in Marion County, Florida, on 9 April 2013. She has a nonfunctional transmitter and cannot be tracked.

We thank Windway Aviation Corp and pilot Jerry Burns for aerial tracking assistance. We also thank staff and volunteers from the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources and the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge, Dan Kaiser, Dan Troglin, Rick Houlk, Charles Murray, and John Pohl for tracking assistance.

Map of whooping crane locations as of Dec. 31, 2014.


Whooping Crane Update – December 15, 2014

The map below shows the Whooping Crane distribution for mid-December

A whooping crane with a flock of sandhil cranes in Indiana.

A whooping crane with a flock of sandhill cranes in Indiana.

Photo courtesy of Eva Szyszkoski; International Crane Foundation

Aerial support by Windway Aviation

General

Maximum size of the eastern migratory population was 97 birds (54 males, 43 females). Estimated distribution included 47 whooping cranes in Indiana, 7 in Illinois, 7 in Kentucky, 7 in Tennessee, 11 in Alabama, 3 in Georgia, 7 in Florida, 5 at unknown locations, 1 not recently reported, 1 long term missing and 1 suspected dead.

Highlights and Flight Information

Female no. 14-09, the bird that frequented Volk Field with then-mate no. 1-01, was confirmed with her new male associate, no. 12-09, in Knox County, Indiana. She had regularly been wintering in a neighborhood in Citrus County, Florida, prior to no. 1-01’s removal from the population in spring of 2014. This is an encouraging sign that no. 12-09 could be influencing her enough for her to change her habits and possibly her final wintering location. If this carries over into next spring, there is potential that this pair may abandon Volk Field for no. 12-09’s previous summering locations just west of the Necedah NWR.

Visuals were obtained on 74 individual cranes and signals were heard for 2 others.

Total flight time for the three day trip was ~17.2 hours and covered about 2,000 miles.

A huge THANK YOU to Windway Aviation for the use of their aircraft and for the funding they provided for this trip and to pilot Jerry Burns for volunteering his time!

Map showing locations of whooping cranes as of 15 December 2014.


Whooping Crane Update – November 6 to December 6, 2014

The map below indicates the last known location of the Whooping Cranes in the Eastern Migratory Population. This map does not include birds that have not been reported for over one month, are known to have moved from a previous location or that are long term missing.

General

Maximum size of the eastern migratory population at the end of the report period was 97 birds (54 males, 43 females). Estimated distribution at the end of the report period included  40 whooping cranes in Indiana, 10 in Illinois, 8 in Kentucky, 6 in Tennessee, 11 in Alabama, 3 in Georgia, 6 in Florida, 10 at unknown locations, 1 not recently reported, 1 long term missing, and 1 suspected mortality.

Suspected Mortality

Male no. 5-13 apparently disappeared on or near the St. Marks NWR, Wakulla County, Florida, on Thanksgiving night. He is suspected dead but is still included in the population totals above. Efforts are currently underway to locate him.

Captures for transmitter replacements

7 November: no. 29-09
A total of 16 free-flying cranes were captured this fall.

2012 Cohort

Nos. 4-12 and 5-12 were reported at the St. Marks NWR, Wakulla County, Florida, on 30 November.

No. 7-12 remained with nos. 3-11, 24-13 and 38-09 in Knox County, Indiana, except for a brief trip north into Greene County on at least 23-25 November. Pair nos. 29-08 and W3-10 joined this group by 18 November and no. 18-09 joined by 23 November.

No. 14-12 remained in LaPorte County, Indiana, until beginning migration on the evening of 30 November or early morning 1 December. He was found in Jackson County, Indiana, on 1 December.

No. 16-12 began migration from Monroe County, Wisconsin, on 17 November. He was found in Jackson County, Indiana, on 19 November where he remained through at least last check on 2 December.

2013 Cohort

Nos. 2, 4, 5, 7, and 8-13 began migration from Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin on 13 November. Satellite readings indicted roost locations in Iroquois County, Indiana, on 13 November; Wabash County, Illinois, on 14 November; northern Alabama on 17 November and Decatur County, Georgia, on 18 November where they remained until arriving at the St. Marks NWR, Wakulla County, Florida by roost on 21 November. No. 5-13 disappeared from this location on the night of 27 November (see above).

No. 9-13 began migration from Dodge County, Wisconsin, on 13/14 November. Satellite readings placed in him Newton County, Indiana, on 14-20 November; Clinton County, Indiana, on 25-29 November and Lawrence County, Indiana, by roost on 1 December. He was observed at this location with two sandhill cranes on 2 December and continued south to Barren County, Kentucky, the next day.

No. 22-13 began migration from Vermilion/Champaign Counties, Illinois, on 14 November. Satellite reading indicated a roost location in DeKalb County, Tennessee, on 15 and 16 November. He arrived at his previous wintering territory at the Hiwassee WR, Meigs County, Tennessee, on 17/18 November.

No. 24-13 remained with nos. 3-11, 7-12 and 38-09 in Knox County, Indiana. Pair nos. 29-08 and W3-10 joined this group by 18 November and no. 18-09 joined by 23 November. No. 7-12 briefly left this location (see above).

No. 57-13 remained in Dodge County, Wisconsin, through at least 9 November. He was not detected in the area on 13 November and was reported in Jackson County, Indiana, on 19 November.

No. 59-13 was reported at the Wheeler NWR, Morgan County, Alabama, on 21 November where she remains.

2014 Cohort

Wild-hatched

No. W3-14 remained with her father in Greene County, Indiana, throughout the report period.

Ultralight

Seven juveniles in the ultralight-led cohort departed from the White River Marsh State Wildlife Area in Green Lake County, Wisconsin on 10 October. On 13 November they were boxed and driven from Dane County, Wisconsin, to the 13th stopover location in Carroll County, Tennessee, where they resumed migration. They are currently located at their 19th stopover in Pike County, Alabama.

Parent-reared

No. 19-14 began migration from near the Necedah NWR, Wisconsin, with adult pair nos. 7-07 and 39-07 on 12 November. They were reported in Winnebago County, Illinois, that night and remained at least through roost on 16 November, apparently continuing migration on 17 November. Low precision satellite readings from no. 19-14 indicated a roost location in Grayson County, Kentucky, on the night of 18 November. They were photographed on a game camera in Logan County, Kentucky, on the morning of 19 November and continued south on 20 November, arriving on the adults wintering ground in Lowndes County, Georgia, by 22 November. They remain at this location.

No. 20-14 remained with pair nos. 9-05 and 13-03 in Greene County, Indiana. These three birds have been seen associating with pair nos. 8-04 and 19-05 at this location.

No. 27-14 remained with pair nos. 2-04 and 25-09 in Hopkins County, Kentucky, throughout the report period. Pair nos. 24-09 and 42-09 joined this group by 21 November. An additional two Whooping Cranes were observed at this location on 4 December.

No recent reports

Female no. 27-10 was last detected on the Necedah NWR, Juneau County, Wisconsin on 22 April. Her transmitter is likely nonfunctional.

Long term missing

Female no. 2-11 was last reported at her wintering location in Marion County, Florida, on 9 April 2013. She has a nonfunctional transmitter and cannot be tracked.

We thank Windway Aviation Corp and pilots Bev Paulan and Michael Callahan (Wisconsin DNR) for aerial tracking assistance. We also thank staff from the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, Dan Kaiser, Dan Troglin, Rick Houlk, Charles Murray, Mary Emanuel, and John Pohl for tracking assistance.

Map of whooping crane locations.


Whooping Crane Update – October 1 to November 5, 2014

The map below indicates the last known location of the Whooping Cranes in the Eastern Migratory Population. This map does not include birds that have not been reported for over one month, are known to have moved from a previous location or that are long term missing.

General

Maximum size of the eastern migratory population at the end of the report period was 97 birds (54 males, 43 females). Estimated distribution at the end of the report period included  56 whooping cranes in Wisconsin, 21 in Indiana, 3 in Illinois, 3 in Kentucky, 3 in Alabama, 9 at unknown locations, 1 not recently reported and 1 long term missing.

Mortalities

The carcass of parent-reared juvenile female no. 21-14 was collected near the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge, Juneau County, Wisconsin, on 8 October.

The heavily scavenged remains of male no. 10-03 were collected on his summering territory on the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge, Juneau County, Wisconsin, on 24 October.

Captures for transmitter replacements

22 October: no. 5-05

29 October: nos. 19-09 and 13-02

2012 Cohort

Nos. 4-12 and 5-12 remained on or near the White River Marsh SWA, Green Lake County, Wisconsin, through at least 30 October. They likely migrated on 31 October as they were not detected during a roost check that evening or during an survey flight on 5 November. Their current location is unknown.

No. 7-12 remained in Adams County with nos. 3-11 and 19-10 until beginning migration on 31 October. She was found with nos. 3-11, 24-13 and an unidentified Whooping Crane in Knox County, Indiana, on 3 November.

No. 14-12 apparently remained in LaPorte County, Indiana, through at least the morning of 31 October.

No. 16-12 remained in Monroe County, Wisconsin, throughout the report period and began associating with no. 16-04.

2013 Cohort

Nos. 2, 4, 5, 7, and 8-13 remained mainly in Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, throughout the report period but did also occasionally use the Horicon NWR, Dodge County.

No. 9-13 split from nos. 2, 4, 5, 7 and 8-13 by 20 October when he was observed with no. 57-13 in Fond du Lac County. He returned to the Horicon NWR, Dodge County, that night and remains in the area.

No. 22-13 remained in Vermilion/Champaign Counties, Illinois, throughout the report period.

No. 24-13 remained on or near the Necedah NWR, Juneau County, Wisconsin, until beginning migration on 18 October. PTT readings indicated a roost location in Iroquois County, Illinois, that night. He continued south to Greene County, Indiana, on 19/20 October and Gibson/Pike Counties, Indiana, on 21 October where he was observed with another, unidentified, Whooping Crane. He returned north to Greene County, Indiana, with the second bird by roost on 24 October. PTT readings indicated a location in Knox County, Indiana, on 2 November and he was found there with nos. 3-11, 7-12 and an unidentified Whooping Crane the following day.

No. 57-13 remained in Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, through at least 20 October when he was observed with no. 9-13. He was detected at the Horicon NWR, Dodge County, at roost on 26 October but had likely moved south with no. 9-13 late on the 20th. He was found at a different location in Dodge County during a survey flight on 5 November.

No. 59-13 remained in Dodge County, Wisconsin, through at least 1 October. She was found in Marquette County, Wisconsin, during a survey flight on 20 October but was not detected at this location on 26 October. Her current location is unknown.

2014 Cohort

Wild-hatched

No. W3-14 began migration from Wood County, Wisconsin, with her father no. 12-02  on 17-20 October. They were confirmed on no. 12-02’s previous wintering grounds in Greene County, Indiana, on 21 October and remained in the area for the rest of the report period.

Ultralight

Seven juveniles in the ultralight-led cohort departed from the White River Marsh State Wildlife Area in Green Lake County, Wisconsin on 10 October. They are currently located at their third stopover location in Columbia County, Wisconsin.

Parent-reared

No. 19-14 remained on or near the Necedah NWR throughout the report period. She was observed with an unidentified adult pair on 22 October and with pairs nos. 12-05/12-03 and 7-07/39-07 on 24 October. She has been observed with nos. 7-07 and 39-07 in subsequent observations.

No. 20-14 began migration with adult pair nos. 9-05 and 13-03 on 31 October. PTT readings indicated arrival in Greene County, Indiana, by roost on 1 November. They remain in the area.

No. 21-14 was found dead on 8 October (see above).

No. 27-14 began migration with adult pair nos. 2-04 and 25-09 on 31 October. PTT readings indicate arrival to the adult male’s previous wintering grounds in Hopkins County, Kentucky, by roost on 1 November.

No recent reports

Female no. 27-10 was last detected on the Necedah NWR, Juneau County, Wisconsin on 22 April. Her transmitter is likely nonfunctional.

Long term missing

Female no. 2-11 was last reported at her wintering location in Marion County, Florida, on 9 April 2013. She has a nonfunctional transmitter and cannot be tracked.

We thank pilots Bev Paulan and Michael Callahan (Wisconsin DNR) for aerial tracking assistance.

Map of whooping crane locations as of Nov. 5, 2014.


Whooping Crane Update – August 18 to September 30, 2014

The map below indicates the last known location of the Whooping Cranes in the Eastern Migratory Population. This map does not include birds that have not been reported for over one month, are known to have moved from a previous location or that are long term missing. Updated band and transmitter information can be found in the attached document.

General

Maximum size of the eastern migratory population at the end of the report period was 99 birds (55 males, 42 females and 2 unknown). Estimated distribution at the end of the report period included  95 whooping cranes in Wisconsin, 1 in Indiana, 1 in Illinois, 1 not recently reported and 1 long term missing.

Suspected mortality

Female no. 19-04 went missing from her territory in Wood County, Wisconsin, between the evening of 16 August, when she was last observed alive, and the afternoon of 20 August, when she was first discovered missing. Her mate and offspring remain in the area. Her transmitter recently failed and she cannot be tracked. No. 19-04 is suspected dead and has been removed from the population totals above.

Captures for transmitter replacements/banding

8 September: nos. W3-14, 12-02 and 24-09

11 September: no. 37-07

12 September: no. 1-10

16 September: no. 16-02

19 September: no. 15-09

24 September: nos. 6-09 and 32-09

25 September: no. 36-09

30 September: nos. 10-03 and 34-09

Nonfunctional satellite transmitters were also removed from nos. 1-10, 15-09, 32-09 and 36-09. New color combinations for these four cranes can be found in the attached document.

2012 Cohort

Nos. 4-12 and 5-12 remained on or near the White River Marsh State Wildlife Area, Green Lake County, Wisconsin, throughout the report period.

No. 7-12 remained in Adams County throughout the report period, usually with male no. 3-11. No. 19-10 joined the two by 30 September.

No. 14-12 was detected at his previous location in LaPorte County, Indiana, on 17 August and also reported here on 4 September. He had last been reported at this location on 19 May.

No. 16-12 remained in Monroe County, Wisconsin, throughout the report period.

2013 Cohort

Nos. 2, 4, 5 and 9-13 remained at the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge, Dodge County, Wisconsin, until moving slightly north into Fond du Lac County on 20 August. They moved frequently between Fond du Lac and Dodge Counties until apparently joining with nos. 7-13 and 8-13 at Horicon and moving to the White River Marsh SWA on 29 August as a group of six. The six briefly separated into their original groups when nos. 2, 4, 5 and 9-13 were located in Marquette County on 3 September. They rejoined with nos. 7 and 8-13 before returning to Fond du Lac County on 4 September where they remain.

Nos. 7 and 8-13 remained on the Horicon NWR, Dodge County, Wisconsin, until apparently joining with nos. 2, 4, 5 and 9-13 and moving to the White River Marsh SWA on 29 August as a group of six.  The six briefly separated into their original groups when nos. 7 and 8-13 were located separately in Marquette County on 3 September. They rejoined with nos. 2, 4, 5 and 9-13 before returning to Fond du Lac County on 4 September where they remain.

No. 22-13 remained in Vermilion/Champaign Counties, Illinois. He was frequently observed with two sandhill cranes.

No. 24-13 remained on or near the Necedah NWR, Juneau County, Wisconsin, throughout the report period.

No. 57-13 remained in Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, throughout the report period.

No. 59-13 remained in Dodge County, Wisconsin, throughout the report period.

2014 Cohort

Wild-hatched

No. W3-14 remained with male no. 12-02 after female no. 19-04 went missing. She was captured for banding on 8 September.

Ultralight

Seven juveniles continued their training at the White River Marsh State Wildlife Area in Green Lake County, Wisconsin.

Parent-reared

Four juveniles were transported to the Necedah NWR from the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Maryland on 19 September. They received their permanent bands and transmitters on 20 September.

No. 19-14 was released near adult pair nos. 9-05 and 13-03 on 23 September. S/he remained with the pair through at least 25 September but was not located with the adults by the evening of 26 September. PTT readings indicated movement to north of the refuge by 29 September. S/he was seen in flight alone in this area during an aerial survey on 30 September.

No. 20-14 was released near adult pair nos. 10-03 and 34-09 on 22 September. She remained with the adults throughout the report period. [On the morning of 2 October she was observed with pair nos. 9-05 and 13-03].

No. 21-14 was released near adults nos. 37-07 and 15-09 on 22 September. Female no. 15-09 left the area shortly after release and returned to her previous mate. No. 21-14 remained with male no. 37-07 through at least 27 September.  S/he was observed with pair nos. 10-03 and 34-09 and no. 20-14 on 28 September and PTT readings indicated locations NE of the refuge by 29 September. S/he could not be located during an aerial survey on 30 September and current location is unknown.

No. 27-14 was released near adult pair nos. 2-04 and 25-09 on 22 September. She remained with the adults throughout the report period.

Long Term Missing

Female no. 2-11 was last reported at her wintering location in Marion County, Florida, on 9 April 2013. She has a nonfunctional transmitter and cannot be tracked.

We thank pilots Bev Paulan and Michael Callahan (Wisconsin DNR) for aerial tracking assistance.

Map of whooping crane locations as of 30 September 2014 or last report.

Whooping Crane Update – July 16 to August 14, 2014

The map below indicates the last known location of the Whooping Cranes in the Eastern Migratory Population. This map does not include birds that have not been reported for over one month, are known to have moved from a previous location or that are long term missing.

General

Maximum size of the eastern migratory population at the end of the report period was 96 birds (55 males, 40 females and 1 unknown). Estimated distribution at the end of the report period included  93 whooping cranes in Wisconsin, 1 in Indiana, 1 in Illinois and 1 long term missing. This total includes 1 surviving wild-hatched chick.

2012 Cohort

No. 4-12 remained on or near the White River Marsh SWA, Green Lake County, Wisconsin, throughout the report period.

No. 5-12 remained on or near the White River Marsh SWA, Green Lake County, Wisconsin, throughout the report period.

No. 7-12 remained in Adams County throughout the report period, usually with male no. 3-11.

No. 14-12 was detected at his previous location in LaPorte County, Indiana, on 17 August. He had last been reported at this location on 19 May.

No. 16-12 remained in Monroe County, Wisconsin, throughout the report period.

2013 Cohort

Nos. 2, 4, 5 and 9-13 moved slightly south to the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge, Dodge County, Wisconsin, by the afternoon of 16 July. They remained at this location for the rest of the report period.

Nos. 7 and 8-13 remained on or near the Horicon NWR, Dodge County, Wisconsin, throughout the report period.

No. 22-13 remained in Vermilion/Champaign Counties, Illinois. He was frequently observed with two sandhill cranes.

No. 24-13 remained on or near the Necedah NWR, Juneau County, Wisconsin, throughout the report period.

No. 17-13 remained in Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, throughout the report period.

No. 59-13 remained in Dodge County, Wisconsin, throughout the report period.

2014 Cohort

Wild-hatched

No. W3-14 remained with parents nos. 12-02 and 19-04 in Wood County, Wisconsin, and was confirmed to have fledged on 12 August.

Ultralight

Seven juveniles were transferred from the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Maryland to the training site at the White River Marsh State Wildlife Area in Wisconsin on 8 July.

Direct Autumn Release

Due to low numbers, the four juveniles slated for the direct autumn release were instead shipped to the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center on 11 August and will be incorporated into this year’s Louisiana non-migratory population cohort.

Long Term Missing

Female no. 2-11 was last reported at her wintering location in Marion County, Florida, on 9 April 2013. She has a nonfunctional transmitter and cannot be tracked.

We thank pilots Bev Paulan and Michael Callahan (Wisconsin DNR) and Windway Aviation Corp. and pilots Bill Murphy and Jerry Burns for aerial tracking assistance.

Whooping Crane locations as of 17 August 2014 or last report.


Whooping Crane Update – August 12, 2014

Eva Szyszkoski, WCEP Tracking Field Manager confirmed that wild-hatched Whooping crane chick #W3-14 has officially FLEDGED! Eva was able to capture this stunning photograph as evidence and to share with everyone.

Wild-hatched no. W3-14 remained with parents nos. 12-02 and 19-04 in Wood County, Wisconsin, and was confirmed to have fledged on 12 August.

Photo courtesy of Eva Szyzkoski/ICF


Whooping Crane Update – June 15 to July 15, 2014

The map below indicates the last known location of the Whooping Cranes in the Eastern Migratory Population. This map does not include birds that have not been reported for over one month, are known to have moved from a previous location or that are long term missing.

General

Maximum size of the eastern migratory population at the end of the report period was 95 birds (55 males and 40 females). Estimated distribution at the end of the report period included  92 whooping cranes in Wisconsin, 1 in Indiana, 1 in Illinois and 1 long term missing. This total does not include 1 wild-hatched chick.

No. 37-07

Male no. 37-07, with a nonfunctional transmitter, was seen on Necedah National Wildlife Refuge this summer.

Photo by Eva Szyszkoski

Male no. 37-07 (nonfunctional transmitter) was found on the Necedah NWR, Juneau County, Wisconsin on 11 July. This is the first observation of him in Wisconsin this year and is the first time he has returned to the state on his own. After release as a member of the direct autumn release program in October 2007, no. 37-07 migrated directly south into southern Illinois with five other juveniles. The six cranes were captured and transported east to the Hiwassee WR, Meigs County, Tennessee. In the spring of 2008, five DAR juveniles migrated directly north into the lower peninsula of Michigan. Four, including no. 37-07, were captured and transported to Wisconsin in June of that year. Since this time, no. 37-07 has continued to winter in Meigs County, Tennessee, often associating with other whooping cranes, but each spring has migrated north into lower Michigan to summer. This past winter he was often seen with breeding pair nos. 5-10 and 28-08 at his Tennessee wintering site. He began migration with this pair and was observed with them at a migration stopover in Jackson County, Indiana, from 22 February – 21 March 2014 when they continued north.

2012 Cohort

No. 4-12 remained on or near the White River Marsh SWA, Green Lake County, Wisconsin, throughout the report period.

No. 5-12 remained on or near the White River Marsh SWA, Green Lake County, Wisconsin, throughout the report period.

No. 7-12 remained in Winnebago County, Wisconsin, until at least 14 June. She moved to Adams County likely that same day where she began associating with male no. 3-11. They remain at this location.

No. 14-12 was last reported in LaPorte County, Indiana, on 19 May. No subsequent reports.

No. 16-12 remained in Monroe County, Wisconsin, throughout the report period.

2013 Cohort

Nos. 2, 4, 5 and 9-13 moved from Waushara County, Wisconsin, to Outagamie County on 16/17 June. From this location they moved to the White River Marsh SWA, Green Lake County, on 1/2 July and into Fond du Lac County on 2/3 July where they remain.

Nos. 7 and 8-13 remained on or near the Horicon NWR, Dodge County, Wisconsin, throughout the report period.

No. 22-13 left Waseca County, Minnesota, on 13-16 June for a location in Columbia County, Wisconsin. From here he moved south into Dane County (by 21 June) before continuing southward into Livingston County, Illinois, on 4/5 July and Monroe County, Indiana, by 10 July. He was observed alone at this location on the morning of 12 July. By roost on 15 July he had moved northwest into Vermillion County, Illinois.

No. 24-13 remained on or near the Necedah NWR, Juneau County, Wisconsin, throughout the report period.

No. 57-13 was found in Winnebago County, Wisconsin, on 17 June. He moved south into Fond du Lac County on 4-8 July.

No. 59-13 remained in Dodge County, Wisconsin, throughout the report period.

Whooping crane chick W3-14 was seen on July 10 with its parents.

Whooping crane chick W3-14 was seen on July 10 with its parents..

Photo by Kelli Crockman-Dempze

2014 Cohort

Wild-hatched

No. W1-14 disappeared by 8 July. S/he had last been observed on 7 July during an aerial tracking flight.

No. W3-14 remained with parents nos. 12-02 and 19-04 in Wood County, Wisconsin, at least through last observation on 10 July.

Long Term Missing

Female no. 2-11 was last reported at her wintering location in Marion County, Florida, on 9 April 2013. She has a nonfunctional transmitter and cannot be tracked.

We thank pilots Bev Paulan and Michael Callahan (Wisconsin DNR) and Windway Aviation Corp. and pilots Bill Murphy and Jerry Burns for aerial tracking assistance.

Map of whooping crane locations as of July 15, 2014.


Whooping Crane Update – May 1 to June 15, 2014: Nesting Summary

The map below indicates the last known location of the Whooping Cranes in the Eastern Migratory Population. This map does not include birds that have not been reported for over one month, are known to have moved from a previous location or that are long term missing. Updated band and transmitter information can be found in the attached document.

General

Maximum size of the eastern migratory population at the end of the report period was 95 birds (55 males and 40 females). Estimated distribution at the end of the report period included  91 whooping cranes in Wisconsin, 1 in Minnesota, 1 in Indiana, 1 not reported since spring migration and 1 long term missing. This total does not include 3 newly hatched chicks. Female no. 11-12 and male no. 15-12 who have both been missing since late winter 2013 are now considered dead and have been removed from the population totals above.

Mortalities

The intact carcass of breeding female no. 4-09 was discovered on her territory in Monroe County, Wisconsin, during an aerial tracking flight on 5 May. She and her mate (no. 16-04) had an active nest which had failed on/by 1 May. Neither bird of this pair was observed during a nest visit that day or until the flight on 5 May when her carcass was found.

The remains of male juvenile no. 3-13 were collected from Daviess County, Kentucky, on 13 May. He had likely died shortly after arriving at this location on 2 April.

Presumed dead

Male no. 17-03 was last confirmed with his mate, no. 7-09, at a previously used wintering location in Knox County, Indiana, on 24 November 2013.  He is now considered dead and has been removed from the population totals above.

Removal

Male no. 1-01 was removed from the population on 28 May because of repeated inadequate and uncorrectable behaviors at the Volk Field National Guard Base. He was transferred to Zoo New England in Boston, Massachusetts, on 29 May and will spend the remainder of his life in captivity.

Reproduction

Twenty-eight nests were initiated in 2014, including three renests. Several other pairs were seen with platforms but did not lay eggs. Fifteen nests failed due to various reasons, four nests had eggs removed as part of a new three year experiment (http://www.fws.gov/refuge/necedah/whooping_crane_funding.html), and one nest went past full term with no evidence of a chick. Eight nests hatched out a total of 13 chicks. At least three chicks were still surviving as of 15 June. One additional pair has not been recently located as the adults have nonfunctional transmitters and the status of this pairs chick is currently unknown, but maximum number of chicks surviving could be up to four.

While small numbers of blackflies were detected on the landscape early they were not observed in mass numbers until late in the nesting season, coinciding with late first nests and renests.

Male no. 16-11 apparently paired and nested with a sandhill crane female at the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge. He was observed sitting on a nest on 16 May and during subsequent observations. A sandhill crane was also observed sitting on the same nest. The nest was discovered to be completed during a nest visit on 3 June when only egg fragments were found. There was no evidence of a chick.

2012 Cohort

No. 4-12 remained near White River Marsh SWA, Green Lake County, Wisconsin, throughout the report period.

No. 5-12 remained near White River Marsh SWA, Green Lake County, Wisconsin, throughout the report period.

No. 7-12 remained in Wood/Jackson/Juneau Counties, Wisconsin, through at least 8 May. She was next reported in Winnebago County on 22 May where she remained.

No. 11-12 left the St. Marks NWR pensite in Wakulla County, Florida, on 9 February 2013.  No subsequent reports (see below).

No. 14-12 remained in Brevard County, Florida, through at least 27 March. He was next reported in Kosciusko County, Indiana, on 2 May and LaPorte County, Indiana, on 19 May.

No. 15-12 was reported possibly leaving on migration with sandhill cranes from Hendry County, Florida, in late February or early March 2013. No subsequent reports (see below).

No. 16-12 was found in Monroe County, Wisconsin, during and aerial tracking flight on 5 May where he remains. He had last been reported in Columbia County, Wisconsin, on 11 April.

2013 Cohort

Direct Autumn Release

No. 57-13 remained in Shawano and Outagamie Counties, Wisconsin, through at least 6 June.

No. 59-13 remained in Dane County, Wisconsin, through at least 16 May. She was next reported in Dodge County on 25 May where she remains.

Ultralight

Nos. 2, 4, 5 and 9-13 moved south from the vicinity of White River Marsh SWA, Green Lake/Marquette Counties, to Walworth County, Wisconsin, on 3 May. They remained in Walworth County through at least roost on 9 May. They then moved to Marquette County on 10/11 May and Clayton County, Iowa, on 14 May. They returned to Wisconsin on 23-26 May, when they were located in Dodge County, additional movements within Wisconsin are as follows: they moved to Fond du Lac County, on 4 June; Outagamie County, 6/7 June and Waushara County, on 8/9 June. They remained in Waushara County for the remainder of the report period.

Nos. 7 and 8-13 remained in Dodge County until moving back to the vicinity of White River Marsh SWA, Green Lake County, Wisconsin, by/on 3 May. They returned to Dodge County by 8 May and stayed on or near the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge throughout the remainder of the report period.

Parent-Reared

No. 22-13 remained in Dodge County, through at least roost on 30 April. He moved to Rice County, Minnesota, by roost on 9 May and to Waseca County, Minnesota, by late afternoon on 7 June where he remained through at least roost on 12 June.

No. 24-13 remained in Juneau/Monroe Counties, throughout the report period. He was observed with various other whooping cranes but most often with male no. 6-09.

Long Term Missing

Female no. 2-11 was last reported at her wintering location in Marion County, Florida, on 9 April 2013. She has a nonfunctional transmitter and cannot be tracked.

Female no. 11-12 left the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge pensite in Wakulla County, Florida, on 9 February 2013. She is now considered dead and has been removed from the population totals above.

Male no. 15-12 was last reported possibly leaving on migration with sandhill cranes from Hendry County, Florida, in late February or early March 2013. He is now considered dead and has been removed from the population totals above.

Male no. 17-03 was last confirmed alive on 24 November 2013 in Knox County, Indiana. He is now considered dead and has been removed from the population totals above.

We thank pilots Bev Paulan and Michael Callahan (Wisconsin DNR) and Windway Aviation Corp and pilots Bill Murphy and Jerry Burns for aerial tracking assistance and John Brunjes and Rocky Pritchert of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife for collection of no. 3-13’s remains.

Map of current whooping crane locations as of June 15, 2014.


Whooping Crane Update – June 5, 2014

Unfortunately, male whooping crane no. 1-01 was removed from the population on 28 May because of repeated inadequate and uncorrectable behaviors at the Volk Field National Guard Base. He was transferred to Zoo New England in Boston, Massachusetts, on 29 May where he will remain in captivity.

In a June 5th email from Zoo New England, officials tell us crane 1-01 is doing very well and seems to be a very calm bird


Whooping Crane Update – March 1 to April 30, 2014: Nesting Summary

The map below indicates the last known location of the Whooping Cranes in the Eastern Migratory Population. This map does not include birds that have not been reported for over one month, are known to have moved from a previous location or that are long term missing.

General

Maximum size of the eastern migratory population at the end of the report period was 101 birds (59 males and 42 females). Estimated distribution at the end of the report period included 93 whooping cranes in Wisconsin, 4 not recently reported, 1 suspected mortality and 3 long term missing.

Mortalities

The remains of juvenile female no. 1-13 were collected from a migration stopover location in Daviess County, Kentucky, on 13 April. Cause of death was likely a powerline strike.

The intact carcass of breeding female no. 8-09 was collected near her nest on the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge on 18 April.  She and her mate had been confirmed with an active nest just three days prior to the discovery of her death. A single intact egg was collected from the nest and transported to the International Crane Foundation.

Suspected mortality/status unknown

Male no. 17-03 was last confirmed with his mate, no. 7-09, at a previously used wintering location in Knox County, Indiana, on 24 November.  A signal for no. 7-09 was detected at another well used wintering location for the pair in Lawrence County, Illinois, on 3 December. She moved back to the Knox County location by 12 December and was observed with an unidentified crane on 15 December. She was confirmed with new male no. 12-05 on 17 December. Both nos. 17-03 and 12-05 have nonfunctional transmitters, therefore exact location where no. 17-03 disappeared is unknown, although is suspected to be at the Lawrence County, Illinois, location.

Reproduction

To date there have been a total of 22 nests, with the earliest initiated on 8 April. Two nests have failed due to rising water, one failed when the female of the pair died and a fourth failed for unknown reasons.

2012 Cohort

No. 4-12 began migration from the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, Wakulla County, Florida, on 21 March. He was next reported in Green Lake County, Wisconsin, on 2 April.

No. 5-12 left the pensite a the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, Wakulla County, Florida on 5 February. He was next reported in Green Lake County, Wisconsin, on 2 April.

No. 7-12 began migration from the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge in Alabama with nos. 17-07, 6-11, 15-11 and 59-13 on 5 March. Satellite readings from no. 15-11 placed them in Hardin/Chester Counties, Tennessee, that night. They continued north to Jasper County, Illinois, on 11 March,  Tazewell County, Illinois on 15 March and Woodford County, Illinois, on 17 March. They arrived in Dane County, Wisconsin, on 18 March. No. 7-12 apparently followed pair nos. 6-11 and 15-11 to Wood County, Wisconsin, on 21 March where she remains.

No. 11-12 left the St. Marks NWR pensite in Wakulla County, Florida, on 9 February 2013.  No subsequent reports (see below).

No. 14-12 remained in Brevard County, Florida, through at least 27 March. No subsequent reports.

No. 15-12 was reported possibly leaving on migration with sandhill cranes from Hendry County, Florida, in late February or early March 2013. No subsequent reports (see below).

No. 16-12 remained in Jackson County, Indiana, through last report on 21 March. He was next reported in Jasper County, Indiana, on 29 March; Dane County, Wisconsin on 7 April; Green Lake County on 9 April and Columbia County on 10 and 11 April. No subsequent reports.

2013 Cohort

Direct Autumn Release

No. 57-13 remained in Jackson County, Indiana, through at least last report on 15 March. He was next reported in St. Joseph County, Indiana, on 20 March, Green Lake County, Wisconsin, on 18 April and Shawano/Outagamie Counties later that same day. He remains in the Shawano County area.

No. 59-13 began migration from the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge, Morgan County, Alabama, on 5 March with whooping cranes nos. 17-07, 6-11, 15-11 and 7-12. Satellite readings from no. 15-11 placed them in Hardin/Chester Counties, Tennessee, that night. They continued north to Jasper County, Illinois, on 11 March,  Tazewell County, Illinois on 15 March and Woodford County, Illinois, on 17 March. They arrived in Dane County, Wisconsin, on 18 March where the older birds split from no. 59-13 who remains in the area.

Ultralight

The eight juveniles in the ultralight cohort began migration from the pensite at the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, Wakulla County, Florida, on 31 March.

No. 3-13 apparently split from the other seven birds sometime prior to their stopover in Daviess County, Kentucky. No subsequent reports.

Nos. 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8 and 9-13 roosted in Barbour County, Alabama, on the night of 31 March and arrived in Daviess County, Kentucky, by roost on 2 April where no. 1-13 was later discovered dead (see above). The remaining six cranes continued north to Vermillion County, Indiana, on 10 April; McHenry County, Illinios, on 11 April; Walworth County, Wisconsin, on 12 April and Waushara County, Wisconsin, on 18 April where they remained until completing migration to the White River Marsh SWA, Green Lake County,  the following day. On 22/23 April, nos. 7-13 and 8-13 moved to Dodge County, where they remain. The other four birds remain in Green Lake County.

Parent-Reared

No. 22-13 remained in Washington County, Indiana, through roost on 21 March. Adults nos. 5-05 and 32-09 had already left the area by this date. He continued north to Starke County, Indiana, on 22 March where he remained through at least roost on 30 March. He completed migration to Adams County, Wisconsin by 1 April and was later observed on the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge, Juneau County, before wandering to Sawyer County on 2 April and Taylor County on 3 April. He remained in Taylor County through at least early afternoon on 5 April. He was located back in Juneau County on 7-9 April and had moved to Dodge County by 11 April where he remains.

No. 24-13 remained in Hopkins County, Kentucky, after all the adult whooping cranes had left. He began migration north on 16/17 April. Satellite readings placed him in Bureau County, Illinois, on the night of 17 April; Juneau County, Wisconsin, on the night of 19 April and Wood County on the night of 21 April. He returned to Juneau County by 23 April where he remains.

Long Term Missing

Female no. 2-11 was last reported at her wintering location in Marion County, Florida, on 9 April 2013.

Female no. 11-12 left the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge pensite in Wakulla County, Florida, on 9 February 2013.

Male no. 15-12 was last reported possibly leaving on migration with sandhill cranes from Hendry County, Florida, in late February or early March.

We thank the Wisconsin DNR and pilots Bev Paulan and Michael Callahan for aerial tracking assistance. We also thank Travis Stoelting (Indiana DNR), John Pohl, Marty Jones, Rick Houlk, Charles Murray, Dan Troglin, Dan Kaiser and the staff at the Wheeler NWR for tracking assistance.

Map of whooping crane locations as of 30 April 2014.


Whooping Crane Update – December 16, 2013 to February 28, 2014

The map below indicates the last known location of the Whooping Cranes in the Eastern Migratory Population. This map does not include birds that have not been reported for over one month, are known to have moved from a previous location or that are long term missing.

General

Maximum size of the eastern migratory population at the end of the report period was 103 birds (59 males and 44 females). Estimated distribution at the end of the report period or last record included 29 cranes in Indiana, 10 in Illinois, 9 in Tennessee, 7 in Kentucky, 15 in Alabama, 2 in Georgia, 15 in Florida, 13 at unknown locations and 3 not reported in ten or more months. The total for Florida includes 8 newly released juveniles. Long term missing cranes nos. 12-07 and 16-10 are now considered dead and are removed from the population totals above.

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No. 24-13 remained with pair nos. 2-04 and 8-09 in Hopkins County, Kentucky, throughout the report period. Four other adults are also in the area.

Photo by Eva Szyskoski; International Crane Foundation

Aerial Support Provided by Windway Aviation

Mortalities

Breeding pair nos. 33-07 and 5-09 were shot on their wintering grounds in Hopkins/Muhlenberg Counties, Kentucky, in late November. They were last confirmed alive on 20 November and female no. 5-09 was reported injured on 24 November. She was captured and transported to a rehab facility but had to be euthanized. No. 33-07’s remains were located about 5 miles away approximately 2 ½ weeks after no. 5-09 was first reported injured.

Direct Autumn Release juveniles nos. 50-13, 51-13 and 54-13 died in Tazewell County, Illinois, sometime in late December to mid January. Scattered feathers and the radio transmitter of no. 51-13 were discovered on 17 January, however due to snow and ice at the location the remains of the others have yet to be located. Based on satellite readings from no. 54-13, her death may have occurred on 27 December-1 January.

The signal for female no. 35-09 was detected in Greene County, Indiana, during an aerial survey flight on 12 February and her remains were collected from this location on 19 February.

2012 Cohort

Nos. 4-12 and 5-12 remained on the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, Wakulla County, Florida, throughout the report period.

No. 7-12 remained at the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge in Alabama throughout the report period.

No. 11-12 left the St. Marks NWR pensite in Wakulla County, Florida, on 9 February 2013.  No subsequent reports (see below).

No. 14-12 remained in Brevard County, Florida, through at least last report on 13 February.

No. 15-12 was reported possibly leaving on migration with sandhill cranes from Hendry County, Florida, in late February or early March 2013. No subsequent reports (see below).

No. 16-12 remained at the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge in Alabama until beginning migration on 16-25 February. He was reported in Jackson County, Indiana, on 26 February.

2013 Cohort

Direct Autumn Release

Nos. 50, 51, and 54-13 were last seen alive in Mason County, Illinois, on 24 December 2013. All three died in nearby Tazewell County after this sighting (see above).

No. 57-13 remained near the Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge, Meigs County, Tennessee, until beginning migration from this location on 17/18 February. He was reported in Jackson County, Indiana, on 19 February. He was not located during a check of the area on 21 February.

No. 59-13 remained at the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge in Alabama throughout the report period.

Ultralight

The eight juveniles in the ultralight cohort remained on the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, Wakulla County, Florida.

Parent-Reared

No. 22-13 began migration from near the Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge, Meigs County, Tennessee, on 17/18 February with adults nos. 5-05 and 32-09. They were reported in Hardin County, Kentucky, on 18 February and had arrived in Washington County, Indiana, by 21 February where they remained.

No. 24-13 remained with pair nos. 2-04 and 8-09 in Hopkins County, Kentucky, throughout the report period. Four other adults are also in the area.

No recent reports

Female no. 2-11 was last reported at her wintering location in Marion County, Florida, on 9 April 2013.

Female no. 11-12 left the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge pensite in Wakulla County, Florida, on 9 February 2013.

Male no. 15-12 was last reported possibly leaving on migration with sandhill cranes from Hendry County, Florida, in late February or early March.

Long Term Missing

Male no. 12-07 was last observed on the Necedah NWR in Wisconsin on 25 April 2012. He has a nonfunctional transmitter and cannot be tracked. He is now considered dead and has been removed from the population totals above.

Female no. 16-10 was last observed with sandhill cranes in Ottawa County, Michigan, on 6 May 2012. She is now considered dead and has been removed from the population totals above.

We thank Windway Aviation Corp. and pilot Jerry Burns for aerial tracking assistance. We also thank Travis Stoelting (Indiana DNR), John Pohl, Marty Jones, Rick Houlk, Charles Murray, Dan Troglin, Dan Kaiser and the staff at the Wheeler NWR for tracking assistance.

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