EMP Update – Where are the Whoopers?

Whooping Crane Update, 1-31 January 2015

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 100 birds (53 males, 47 females). Estimated distribution at the end of the report period included 26-29 whooping cranes in Indiana, 7 in Kentucky, 10 in Tennessee, 34 in Alabama, 3 in Georgia, 13 in Florida, 2-5 at unknown locations and 2 long term missing. The total for Florida includes 7 newly released juveniles.

Mortalities
Female no. 8-13 was discovered with a severely injured upper right leg at the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, Wakulla County, Florida, on the morning of 5 January. She was captured and transported to the Shepherd Spring Animal Hospital where she was euthanized.
The remains of male no. 7-13 and female no. 2-13 were found on private property adjacent to the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, Wakulla County, Florida, on 15 January. Death of both birds had likely occurred on 5 January.

2012 Cohort

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

No. 5-12 remained near the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, Wakulla County, Florida.

No. 7-12 remained in Knox/Greene Counties, Indiana, throughout the report period.

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 was last detected in Jackson County, Indiana, on 6 January. He was confirmed at the Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge, Meigs County, Tennessee, on 8 January and was last detected at this location the following two days. No subsequent reports.

2013 Cohort

Nos. 2, 4, 7, and 8-13 remained on and near the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, Wakulla County, Florida, until the deaths of nos. 2, 7 and 8-13 (see above). No. 4-13 has joined no. 4-12 and the juveniles at the pensite.

No. 9-13 remained on and near the Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, Alachua County, Florida, throughout the report period.

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, until moving south to the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge, Morgan County, Alabama, on 7/8 January with nos. 18-09, 38-09, 6-09, 23-10 and 3-11. [Nos. 3-11, 6-09 and 23-10 returned to Greene County, Indiana, by 21 January].

No. 57-13 remained in Jackson County, Indiana, through at least 6 January. He was detected at the Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge, Meigs County, Tennessee, on 8 January where he remained.

No. 59-13 remained at the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge, Morgan County, Alabama, throughout the report period and was often seen associating with male no. 1-11.

2014 Cohort

Wild-hatched

No. W3-14 remained with her father in Greene County, Indiana, until moving south to Lawrence  County, Alabama, on 3-8 January with nos. 12-02, 29-09, 19-10 and 4-11.

Ultralight

The seven juveniles at the release pen at the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge were returned to the top-netted pen on the morning of 5 January. They received their permanent colored leg bands and transmitters that day and were re-released on 8 January.

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, until moving south with the adults to Jackson County, Alabama, on 6-8 January.

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.

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. 27-10 was last detected on the Necedah NWR, Juneau County, Wisconsin, on 22 April 2014. Her transmitter is likely nonfunctional.

wcep_logo_250This update is a product of the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership.  To access our previous project updates and additional information on the project visit our web site at http://www.bringbackthecranes.org/.

We thank staff and volunteers from the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources and the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge, Hillary Thompson, Andrew Cantrell, Sloane Wiggers, Dan Kaiser, Dan Troglin, Rick Houlk, Charles Murray, and John Pohl for tracking assistance.

EndJan2015

 

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2 Comments

  1. Margie Tomlinson February 6, 2015 3:23 pm

    Thank you again for the up-date, Heather.

  2. G Thomas Fleming February 5, 2015 5:32 pm

    thank you ICF. I’m in TX with the Wood Buffalo/Aransas flock and am blessed to see Whooping Cranes daily. I feel a reporting system such as this is need here. It would allow many individuals to experience these wonderful birds. Educating individuals about WC amazing recovery is needed here.