Project Updates

2018: MayApril | March | February | January

Previous Years: 20172016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 20112010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001


Whooping Crane Update – May 1, 2018

Below is the most recent update for the Eastern Migratory Population of Whooping Cranes. In the last month Whooping Cranes have started nesting season, despite an April snowstorm in Wisconsin. A huge thank-you to the staff of Operation Migration, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Department of Natural Resources, the International Crane Foundation, and all of the volunteers who help us keep track of the cranes throughout the year. We appreciate your contribution to the recovery of the whooping crane eastern migratory population.

Population Estimate
The current estimated population size is 102 (47 F, 52 M, 3 U). As of 1 May, at least 79 Whooping Cranes are in Wisconsin, 3 in Michigan, 3 in Illinois, and 1 in Iowa. The remaining birds’ locations have not been confirmed in the last month. See maps below.

Nesting
As of 1 May, we have one active Whooping Crane nest. The eggs were pulled from one nest as a part of a forced re-nesting management tool to avoid nest abandonments during the black fly hatch. 3-5 first nests at Necedah NWR were abandoned likely due to a snowstorm and a freezing of the marshes.

Incubating: 12-11 and 5-11 are currently incubating in Juneau Co, WI.

Forced re-nest: 14-08 and 24-08’s first eggs were pulled on 30 April.

Abandoned: Pairs 9-03/3-04, W1-06/1-10, 13-03/9-05, and likely also 36-09/18-03, 16-07/1-04 were incubating on 13 April prior to a snow storm, and as of 27 April were no longer incubating.

2017 Wild-hatched chicks
W3_17 (U) is still in Adams Co, WI, likely with one other sub-adult.

W7_17 (F) left Edwards Co, IL and was last reported in Iowa Co, IA.

Parent-Reared 2017 Cohort
19_17 (M) and 25_17 (M) migrated back to Wisconsin, took a trip over to Dakota Co, MN, and are now back in WI in Polk Co.

28_17 (M) migrated back to Wisconsin and was last seen in Green Lake Co.

24_17 (M) has returned to Wisconsin and is currently in Walworth Co.

72_17 (M) migrated north to Jackson Co, MI.

30_17 (F) migrated back to Lake Co, IL, where her remains were collected on 23 April (see below).

38_17 (F) is still in Dodge Co, WI.

39_17 (F) migrated north to Michigan during April, but then made it back around Lake Michigan and is currently in Outagamie Co, WI.

36_17 (F) migrated back to Wisconsin and went all the way north to the Apostle Islands on Lake Superior and is now in Burnett Co, WI.

Costume-Reared 2017 Cohort
3_17 (M) and 7_17 (F) migrated back to Wisconsin and are currently in Green Lake Co.

4_17 (M) and 6_17 (F) migrated back to Wisconsin and are moving around a lot! They are currently in Washington County.

1_17 (M), 2_17 (F), and 8_17 (F) left Lawrence Co, TN and are currently in Peoria Co, IL.

Mortality
30-17 died in Lake Co, IL, and her remains were collected on 23 April. Based on satellite telemetry, she likely died on or before 19 April. The cause of death appeared to be predation.

Confirmed Whooping Crane locations as of 1 May 2018

Whooping Crane Update – April 2, 2018

Below is the most recent update for the Eastern Migratory Population of Whooping Cranes. In the last month most Whooping Cranes have completed migration! A huge thank-you to the staff of Operation Migration, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Department of Natural Resources, the International Crane Foundation, and all of the volunteers who help us keep track of the cranes throughout the year. We appreciate your contribution to the recovery of the whooping crane eastern migratory population.

Population Estimate

The current estimated population size is 103 (48 F, 52 M, 3 U). As of 2 April, at least 35 Whooping Cranes are in Wisconsin, 2 in Michigan, 16 in Illinois, 19 in Indiana, 8 in Kentucky, 3 in Tennessee, 3 in Alabama, and 2 in Florida. Some of these birds have begun migration and have not been reported further north, so these are the last known locations. The remaining birds’ locations have not been confirmed in the last month. See maps below.

2017 Wild-hatched chicks

W3-17 (U) is migrated back to Wisconsin with its parents (24-09 and 42-09) and was last seen in Adams Co, WI with 31-16, 29-16, and 39-16. 39-16 has moved to Monroe Co, but we’re not sure if W3-17 and others went with him.

W7-17 (F) is left Morgan Co, AL with her parents (14-08 and 24-08, and was last reported in Edwards Co, IL.

Parent-Reared 2017 Cohort

19-17 (M) and 25-17 (M) are still in Jackson Co, AL likely with adult 37-07 (M).

28-17 (M) left Okeechobee Co, FL, and is in Jackson Co, IN with Sandhill Cranes.

24-17 (M) is still in Randolph Co, IL, however 63-15 has returned to Wisconsin.

72-17 (M) is still in Hendry Co, FL. (Note: as of 4/3/2018, she is in Lake County, FL.)

30-17 (F) left Plaquemines Parish, LA, and is currently in Hickman Co, KY.

38-17 (F) is still in Dodge Co, WI with Sandhill Cranes.

39-17 (F) is in LaPorte Co, IN with Sandhill Cranes.

36-17 (F) left Madison Co, FL and is currently in Gallatin Co, IL.

Costume-Reared 2017 Cohort

3-17 (M) and 7-17 (F) left Morgan Co, AL at Wheeler NWR, and are currently in Webster Co, KY with 69-16.

4-17 (M) and 6-17 (F) left Fulton Co, KY and are currently in Clinton Co, IL.

1-17 (M), 2-17 (F), and 8-17 (F) left Talladega Co, AL and are currently in Lawrence Co, TN.

Parent-Reared 2016 Cohort

29-16 (M) and 39-16 (M) left Dyer Co, TN and were in Adams Co, WI, with 31-16 and W3-17. 39-16 is currently in Monroe Co, WI, but we’re not sure if the other birds moved with him.

30-16 (M) and 5-12 (M) left St. Mark’s NWR in Wakulla Co, FL, and are currently in Saline Co, IL. (Note: it is believed these two resumed migration between 3/29 – 4/1)

31-16 (M) left Weakley Co, TN, and was last seen in Adams Co, WI, with 29-16, W3-17, and 39-16. 39-16 has moved to Monroe Co, but we’re not sure if 31-16 and others went with him.

33-16 (F)’s satellite transmitter is still firing off along the Mississippi River in Clinton Co, IA, however she has not been seen. We suspect she may be dead, but we have not yet removed her from the totals until we can confirm.

69-16 (F) left Wheeler NWR in Morgan Co, AL and is currently in Webster Co, KY with 3-17 and 7-17.

71-16 (F) left Jackson Co, IN, and is currently in Winnebago Co, WI.

Mortality

None known.

Confirmed Whooping Crane locations as of 2 April 2018

Whooping Crane Update – March 1, 2018

Below is the most recent update for the Eastern Migratory Population of Whooping Cranes. In the last month Whooping Cranes begun migration! A huge thank-you to the staff of Operation Migration, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Department of Natural Resources, the International Crane Foundation, and all of the volunteers who help us keep track of the cranes throughout the year. We appreciate your contribution to the recovery of the whooping crane eastern migratory population.

Population Estimate
The current estimated population size is 103 (48 F, 52 M, 3 U). As of 1 March, 1 Whooping Crane is still in Wisconsin, 1 in Michigan, 4 in Illinois, 39 in Indiana, 11 in Kentucky, 7 in Tennessee, 20 in Alabama, 4 in Georgia, 7 in Florida, and 2 in Louisiana. Some of these birds have begun migration and have not been reported further north, so these are the last known locations. The remaining birds’ locations have not been confirmed in the last month. See map below.

2017 Wild-hatched chicks
W3_17 (U) is still with its parents (24_09 and 42_09) in Hopkins Co, KY
W7_17 (F) is still with her parents (14_08 and 24_08) in Morgan Co, AL.

Parent-Reared 2017 Cohort
19_17 (M) and 25_17 (M) are still in Jackson Co, AL likely with adult 37_07 (M). Females 2_15 and 28_05 have left Alabama and are currently in northern Indiana.
28_17 (M) was last confirmed in Okeechobee Co, FL, and may still be in the area.
24_17 (M) is still with 63_15 (M) in Randolph Co, IL.
72_17 (M) is still in Hendry Co, FL.
30_17 (F) is still in Plaquemines Parish, LA.
38_17 (F) is still in Dodge Co, WI. Sandhill Cranes have now returned to Wisconsin and 38_17 was seen with a few Sandhills at the end of February.
39_17 (F) is in Pulaski Co, IN, near 2_15 (F) and 28_05 (F).
36_17 (F) is still in Madison Co, FL.
Costume-Reared 2017 Cohort
3_17 (M) and 7_17 (F) are still in Morgan Co, AL at Wheeler NWR.
4_17 (M) and 6_17 (F) are still in Fulton Co, KY.
1_17 (M), 2_17 (F), and 8_17 (F) are still in Talladega Co, AL.

Parent-Reared 2016 Cohort
29_16 (M) and 39_16 (M) are still in Dyer Co, TN.
30_16 (M) and 5_12 (M) are still at St. Mark’s NWR in Wakulla Co, FL.
31_16 (M) was last seen in Weakley Co, TN, at the end of February.
33_16 (F)’s satellite transmitter is still firing off along the Mississippi River in Clinton Co, IA, however she has not been seen. We suspect she may be dead, but we have not yet removed her from the totals until we can confirm.
69_16 (F) is still at Wheeler NWR in Morgan Co, AL. This winter she was associating regularly with 11_15 (M).
70_16 (M) was captured in Knox Co, KY, by a landowner when he was caught in a fence. He was brought to a rehab center, and Louisville Zoo, where he underwent surgery for his injuries, but ended up being euthanized.
71_16 (F) left Florida and is now in Jackson Co, IN, with thousands of Sandhill Cranes.

Mortality
70_16 (M) was euthanized during February at the Louisville Zoo, for injuries sustained in the wild. See above.

Confirmed Whooping Crane locations as of 1 March 2018

Whooping Crane Update – February 1, 2018

Below is the most recent update for the Eastern Migratory Population of Whooping Cranes. In the last month Whooping Cranes have mostly stayed at their wintering grounds. A huge thank-you to the staff of Operation Migration, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Department of Natural Resources, the International Crane Foundation, and all of the volunteers who help us keep track of the cranes throughout the year. We appreciate your contribution to the recovery of the whooping crane eastern migratory population.

Population Estimate

The current estimated population size is 104 (48 F, 53 M, 3 U). As of 1 February, 1 Whooping Crane is still in Wisconsin, 3 in Illinois, 32 in Indiana, 8 in Kentucky, 6 in Tennessee, 33 in Alabama, 4 in Georgia, 7 in Florida, and 2 in Louisiana. The remaining birds’ locations have not been confirmed in the last month. See maps below.

2017 Wild-hatched chicks

W3_17 (U) is still with its parents (24_09 and 42_09) in Hopkins Co, KY.
W7_17 (F) is still with her parents (14_08 and 24_08) in Morgan Co, AL.

Parent-Reared 2017 Cohort

19_17 (M) and 25_17 (M) are still in Jackson Co, AL with adults 37_07 (M), 2_15 (F), and 28_05 (F).
28_17 (M) has been confirmed in Okeechobee Co, FL, not too far from adult 16_12 (M).
24_17 (M) is still with 63_15 (M) in Randolph Co, IL.
72_17 (M) is still in Hendry Co, FL.
30_17 (F) is still in Plaquemines Parish, LA.
38_17 (F) is still in Dodge Co, WI.
39_17 (F) is still in Jasper Co, IN.
36_17 (F) is still in Madison Co, FL and is now associating with sub-adult 71_16 (F).

Costume-Reared 2017 Cohort

3_17 (M) and 7_17 (F) are still in Morgan Co, AL at Wheeler NWR.
4_17 (M) and 6_17 (F) left Effingham Co, IL, and are now in Fulton Co, KY.
1_17 (M), 2_17 (F), and 8_17 (F) left Perry Co, TN, and are now in Talladega Co, AL.

 Parent-Reared 2016 Cohort

29_16 (M) and 39_16 (M) are still in Dyer Co, TN.
30_16 (M) and 5_12 (M) are still at St. Mark’s NWR in Wakulla Co, FL.
31_16 (M) has not been seen since November in Wisconsin.

33_16 (F)’s satellite transmitter is firing off along the Mississippi River in Clinton Co, IA, however she has not been seen. We suspect she may be dead, but we have not yet removed her from the totals until we can confirm.

69_16 (F) is still at Wheeler NWR in Morgan Co, AL.
70_16 (M) is still in Knox County, KY.
71_16 (F) is still in Madison Co, FL and is now associating with parent-reared juvenile 36_17 (F).

Long-term missing

The following birds have not been seen for more than one year and have been removed from the estimated population total above: 8_05 (F), 39_07 (F), 11_09 (M), 18_09 (M), 8_10 (M), 6_11 (M).

Confirmed Whooping Crane locations as of 1 February 2018

Whooping Crane Update – January 3, 2018 

Below is the most recent update for the Eastern Migratory Population of Whooping Cranes. In the last month most Whooping Cranes have reached their wintering grounds. A huge thank-you to the staff of Operation Migration, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Department of Natural Resources, the International Crane Foundation, and all of the volunteers who help us keep track of the cranes throughout the year. We appreciate your contribution to the recovery of the whooping crane eastern migratory population.

Population Estimate

The current maximum population size is 110 (50 F, 57 M, 3 U). As of 3 January, 1 Whooping Crane is still in Wisconsin, 7 in Illinois, 32 in Indiana, 8-10 in Kentucky, 8-9 in Tennessee, 26 in Alabama, 2 in Georgia, 5 in Florida, and 2 in Louisiana. The remaining birds’ locations have not been confirmed in the last month. See maps below.

2017 Wild-hatched chicks

W3_17 (U) is still with its parents (24_09 and 42_09) in Hopkins Co, KY.
W7_17 (F) is still with her parents (14_08 and 24_08) in Morgan Co, AL.

Parent-Reared 2017 Cohort

19_17 (M) and 25_17 (M) are still in Jackson Co, AL with adults 2_15 and 28_05.
26_17 (F) was found dead on 16 December in Wabash Co, IL (see below).
28_17 (M) has not been seen since November in Walworth Co, WI. He has likely left this area but has not been confirmed further south.
24_17 (M) left Jasper Co, IN with adult 63_15 and is currently in Randolph Co, IL.
72_17 (M) is still in Hendry Co, FL.
30_17 (F) is still in Plaquemines Parish, LA.
38_17 (F) is alone in Dodge Co, WI. Capture attempts are being made to translocate her further south.
39_17 (F) left Wisconsin during December and is currently in Jasper Co, IN.
36_17 (F) left Jasper Co, IN and is currently in Madison Co, FL.

Costume-Reared 2017 Cohort

3_17 (M) and 7_17 (F) continued south and are currently in Morgan Co, AL.
4_17 (M) and 6_17 (F) left Wisconsin and are currently in Effingham Co, IL.
1_17 (M), 2_17 (F), and 8_17 (F) were translocated on 12 December from Green Lake Co, WI to Greene Co, IN. That same day, they continued further south and are now currently in Perry Co, TN.

Parent-Reared 2016 Cohort

29_16 (M) and 39_16 (M) are still in Dyer Co, TN.
30_16 (M) and 5_12 (M) are still at St. Mark’s NWR in Wakulla Co, FL.
31_16 (M) has not been seen since November in Wisconsin.
33_16 (F) is still along the Mississippi River either in Clinton Co, IA or Carroll Co, IL.
69_16 (F) is still at Wheeler NWR in Morgan Co, AL.
70_16 (M) is still in Knox County, KY.
71_16 (F) left 63_15 and 24_17 in Indiana, and went to her previous wintering area in Jackson Co, IN before heading to Rhea Co, TN and now Madison Co, FL.

Mortality

The remains of 26_17 were found on 16 December in Wabash Co, IL, where she had been for a few weeks. The cause of her mortality is unknown.

Confirmed Whooping Crane locations as of 3 January 2018