EMP Update

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, have likely 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 93 birds (52 males, 41 females). Estimated distribution at the end of the report period included 90 whooping cranes in Wisconsin, 1 in Michigan, 1 in Indiana and 1 in Alabama. This total does not include 9 newly hatched chicks.

Injury

Male no. 18-11 was reported with a left leg injury on 1 April near the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge, Wisconsin. He continues to be monitored abd appears to be slowly improving.

Mortalities

The remains of female no. 26-07 were collected from on her (re)nest on 7 May. Two eggs were also present. Death had likely occurred around 5 May.

The carcass of male no. 57-13 was collected in Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, on 19 May. His death had likely occurred sometime from 9-11 May.

Previous status unknown

Male no. 10-11 was confirmed back on his former breeding territory in Marquette Co, Wisconsin, on 5 May. He and his former mate no. 7-11 apparently split in early April for unknown reasons.

Reproduction

To date there have been a record total of 37 nests by 27 different pairs. Eight nests failed, 8 had eggs removed as part of a renesting experiment, 4 nests were incubated past full term on nonviable eggs, 13 chicks have hatched from 9 nests so far (two nests still have a second egg that could hatch) and 8 nests are currently active. More information can be found in the nesting summary document.

2013 Cohort

No. 4-13 moved from Waupaca County, Wisconsin, to Marquette County with no. 7-14 on 5 May. Satellite readings for no. 7-14 indicated a roost location in Waushara County on 6 May and at the Horicon NWR, Dodge County, on 10 May. They remain in the area and have been seen occasionally associating with no. 9-13.

No. 9-13 remained at the Horicon NWR, Dodge County, Wisconsin, throughout the report period and has been seen occasionally associating with nos. 4-13 and 7-14.

No. 22-13 returned to the Necedah NWR, Juneau County, Wisconsin, by 6 May. He remained on and near the refuge throughout the remainder of the report period.

No. 24-13 remained in Adams County with female no. 19-14 throughout the report period.

No. 57-13 was found in Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, during an aerial survey flight on 5 May. He died at this location on 9-11 May (see above).

No. 59-13 was last reported in Rock County, Wisconsin, on the afternoon of 3 April. She has a nonfunctional transmitter and cannot be tracked.

2014 Cohort

Ultralight

No. 7-14 moved from Waupaca County, Wisconsin, to Marquette County with no. 4-13 on 5 May. Satellite readings indicated a roost location in Waushara County on 6 May and at the Horicon NWR, Dodge County, on 10 May. They remain in the area and have been seen occasionally associating with no. 9-13.

Nos. 8, 9 and 10-14 were released at the White River Marsh SWA, Green Lake County, Wisconsin, on 4 May and moved to Winnebago County that night for roost. Satellite readings indicated roost locations in Waushara County on 5 May; a new Winnebago County location on 8-10 May; Columbia County on 13-20 May and Winnebago County again on 23 May where they remained through at least 25 May.

No. 3-14 moved from Union County, Illinois, to Johnson/Pope Counties, Illinois, on 3 May. She was captured on 12 May and held in a temporary pen until being transported to and released at the White River Marsh SWA, Green Lake County, Wisconsin, on 15 May with no. 4-14. Satellite readings indicated locations near the Lake Michigan shoreline in Washington County, Wisconsin, on the morning of 19 May and at the Horicon NWR, Dodge County, by roost on 20 May. She remained at the Horicon NWR until moving north to Waushara County on 23 May where she was observed alone on 27 May.

No. 4-14 was captured in Union County, Kentucky on 13 May and transported to and released at the White River Marsh SWA, Green Lake County, Wisconsin on 15 May with no. 3-14. He was last detected at this location during an aerial flight on the afternoon of 15 May. His current location is unknown.

Parent-reared

No. 19-14 remained in Adams County with male no. 24-13 throughout the report period.

No. 20-14 returned to the Necedah NWR, Juneau County, by 6 May where she began associating with male no. 11-02 whose mate (26-07) had just died.

No. 27-14 remained in St. Joseph County, Indiana, through at least roost on 4 May. Satellite readings indicated a roost location in Kenosha County, Wisconsin, on 8 May where she remained through at least roost on 10 May and along the Goodhue/Dakota County, Minnesota, border at roost on 13 May. By late afternoon on 18 May, she had moved back southeast to Dodge County, Wisconsin, where she remains.

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

WCEP thanks Andrew Cantrell and John Pohl for tracking assistance. We also thank Windway Aviation Corp. and pilots Bev Paulan and Mike Callahan (Wisconsin DNR), Jerry Burns and Bill Murphy for aerial tracking assistance.

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4 Comments

  1. Kasie June 2, 2015 11:08 am

    I was very concerned to read that Peanut’s location hasn’t been known since the day of his release. I hope he is safe. Also, I was sad to read that Mork had died. If I’m correct there is only one crane remaining out of his DAR class, and that is Latka. I hope she is all right. On the other hand, it’s terrific that there are so many nests and chicks this season. Very promising!!!

  2. Dorothy Nordness June 1, 2015 9:47 am

    Can someone clue me in on the numbering scheme for the birds with higher numbers — like 22- 13, 24-13, 57-13. Are they DAR chicks, parent reared?, or ???? . Also, I didn’t see in this report reference to the wild chick (W3-14??) who I believe migrated with its parents. Sending me to a document to read would be just fine. Thanks in advance.

    • Heather Ray June 1, 2015 11:23 am

      Typically the higher numbers do represent cranes from the other release methods. To see listings showing all of the various classes over the years, please visit Journey North: http://www.learner.org/jnorth/tm/crane/SurvivalResearch.html

      W-3-14 successfully migrated back to Necedah NWR but on April 22 her heavily scavenged and scattered remains were found on the refuge during a survey flight. She had last been observed alive on April 14.

  3. ffmn June 1, 2015 9:37 am

    GM so many numbers/year .Am personally glad to have a map showing whereabouts of ’14 class and ‘older’ birds. Guess tht sufficient for those of us who are involved with records keeping like the Association(s) need to do. Interesting to read who is with whom, etc. Thanks…… Hope the ‘trackers’ fund raising meets the deadline that is up soon. If you haven’t donated (can be as little as $10) please consider, readers. Thanks all…