News Releases

Whooping Crane Update – December 1, 2019

Below is the most recent update for the Eastern Migratory Population of Whooping Cranes. In the last month most Whooping Cranes have migrated to their wintering grounds! A huge thank-you to the staff of the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Departments of Natural Resources of flyway states, the International Crane Foundation, and all 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. This report is produced by the International Crane Foundation for the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership. Near real-time locations of Whooping Cranes in this population can be seen at

Population Estimate

The current estimated population size is 86 (41 F, 42 M, 3 U), which now includes both released parent-reared juveniles from fall 2019. To the best of our knowledge, as of 1 December 1 is in Michigan, 33 are in Indiana, 10 are in Illinois, 4 are in Tennessee, 4 are in Kentucky, and 20 are in Alabama. At least 4 Whooping Cranes were last seen in Wisconsin during November and haven’t been detected on the wintering grounds yet. The remaining birds’ locations have not been confirmed in the last month. See map below.

2019 Cohort

W1-19 (F) was seen during November with parents 12-11 and 5-11 in Gibson Co, IN.

W14-19 (F) is with parents 12-03 and 12-05 in Knox Co, IN.

W19-19 (U) is with parents 9-05 and 13-03 in Greene Co, IN.

79-19 (F) migrated with adults 67-15 and 3-17 to Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge in Morgan Co, AL.

80-19 (F) was released in November at Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area in Greene Co, IN, near adult Whooping Cranes W1-18, W5-18, and W10-18. 80-19 is still in Greene Co, and has been seen associating with adult Whooping Cranes.

2018 Cohort

W1_18 (F) is still in Greene Co, IN, in the vicinity or associating with other Whooping Cranes.

W3_18 (F) and W6_18 (M) also migrated to Greene Co, IN, and are with other Whooping Cranes.

W5_18 (M) and W10_18 (U) are still together in Greene Co, IN. They also associate with other adult Whooping Cranes.

73_18 (F) and 74_18 (M) migrated to Jasper Co, IN, and are sometimes seen with 28-17 (M) who they associated with last winter as well.

75_18 (M) and 78_18 (F) left Dodge Co, WI together during November. During migration, 78_18 died due to powerline collision (see below), and 75_18 is now alone in McLean Co, IL.

77_18 (M) is now in Hamilton Co, TN.

Mortality or Long-term missing

78_18 (F) died due to powerline collision in Woodford Co, IL during November.


Confirmed Whooping Crane locations as of 1 December 2019.