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Whooping Crane Update

January 3, 2017

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.



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.




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