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Non-profit organizations, individuals and government agencies joining forces to bring a migratory population of whooping cranes back to eastern North America
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Parent-reared whooping crane chicks released the fall.

Parent-reared whooping crane chicks were released this fall.

Photo courtesy of the International Crane Foundation

 


Individual information for each whooping crane in the eastern flock.

Revised April 27, 2017

 

In the PDF document, click on the hatch year to view more information about the individual whooping crane.

 

October 1, 2017: Project Update

Below is the most recent update for the Eastern Migratory Population of Whooping Cranes. In the last month we have begun releasing the parent-reared juveniles. 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 101 (42 F, 55 M, 4 U). This includes two fledged 2017 wild-hatched chicks (unknown sex), and the six released parent-reared juveniles. As of 1 October, at least 89 Whooping Cranes have been confirmed in Wisconsin, 1 in Iowa, 1 in Michigan, and 1 in Kentucky. The remaining birds’ locations have not been reported during September.

 

Continue Project Update >>

 


 

September 1, 2017: Project Update

Below is the most recent update for the Eastern Migratory Population of Whooping Cranes. In the last month, both surviving wild-hatched chicks have fledged. We are also beginning to plan the releases of this year’s captive-raised cohort. 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 96 (42 F, 50 M, 4 U). This includes two fledged 2017 wild-hatched chicks (unknown sex). As of 1 September, at least 83 Whooping Cranes have been confirmed in Wisconsin, 1 in Iowa, 2 in North Dakota, 1 in Michigan, and 1 in Kentucky. The remaining birds’ locations have not been reported during August.

 

Continue Project Update >>

 


 

Earlier this summer…

Kasey Stewart, University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh

 

Earlier this summer, the first parent-reared female whooping crane to hatch a chick in the wild was killed by a predator, in Juneau County, WI. She may have died while defending her 4-week-old chick. After her death, her mate and chick moved to a new area, but without the protection of both parents, the chick was also found dead of predation just a few days later.

 

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August 1, 2017: Project Update

Below is the most recent update for the Eastern Migratory Population of Whooping Cranes. In the last month, we have been monitoring wild-hatched chicks, and most adults have stayed in their summer locations. One of the wild-hatched chicks has fledged and another is close to fledging.

 

Population Estimate

The current maximum population size is 95 (43 F, 50 M, 2 U). This does not include 2017 wild-hatched chicks. As of 1 August, at least 85 Whooping Cranes have been confirmed in Wisconsin, 1 in South Dakota, 2 in North Dakota, 1 in Michigan, and 1 in Kentucky. The remaining birds’ locations have not been reported during July.

 

Continue Project Update »

 


 

 

July 1, 2017: Project Update

In the last month, nesting season has come to an end.

 

Population Estimate

The current maximum population size is 97 (44 F, 51 M, 2 U). This does not include 2017 wild-hatched chicks. As of 1 July, at least 84 Whooping Cranes have been confirmed in Wisconsin, 1 in Minnesota, 2 in North Dakota, 1 in Michigan, and 1 in Kentucky. The remaining birds’ locations have not been reported during June. See maps below.

 

Reproduction

This year, there were 37 confirmed nests by 26 pairs in Juneau, Adams, Marathon, St. Croix, and Green Lake counties, Wisconsin. Eighteen chicks have hatched from four first nests and ten re-nests. Six wild-hatched chicks are still alive as of 1 July.

 

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News Release: Breeding season produces history-making wild chicks

June 20, 2017

 

MADISON, Wis. - A history-making breeding season is winding down for whooping cranes in the Eastern Migratory Population that summers in Wisconsin, yielding a dozen fuzzy, cinnamon-colored chicks that are the latest and most hopeful signs yet for efforts to build a self-sustaining flock of whoopers in eastern North America.  

 

One of the chicks is a second-generation wild bird; the offspring of the first wild cranes hatched in Wisconsin following the start of the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership restoration project in 2001. The project aims to establish a second migratory flock in North America to be a backstop to the other migratory population of whooping cranes that nests in Canada’s Wood Buffalo National Park and winters on the Texas Coast. 

 

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News, Project Updates and Feature Stories Archives