Monthly Update

Eastern Migratory Population, Whooping Crane Update – April 2, 2018 

Below is the most recent update for the Eastern Migratory Population of Whooping Cranes. In the last month most Whooping Cranes have completed migration! 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 estimated population size is 103 (48 F, 52 M, 3 U). As of 2 April, at least 35 Whooping Cranes are in Wisconsin, 2 in Michigan, 16 in Illinois, 19 in Indiana, 8 in Kentucky, 3 in Tennessee, 3 in Alabama, and 2 in Florida. Some of these birds have begun migration and have not been reported further north, so these are the last known locations. The remaining birds’ locations have not been confirmed in the last month. See maps below.

2017 Wild-hatched chicks

W3-17 (U) is migrated back to Wisconsin with its parents (24-09 and 42-09) and was last seen in Adams Co, WI with 31-16, 29-16, and 39-16. 39-16 has moved to Monroe Co, but we’re not sure if W3-17 and others went with him.

W7-17 (F) is left Morgan Co, AL with her parents (14-08 and 24-08, and was last reported in Edwards Co, IL.

Parent-Reared 2017 Cohort

19-17 (M) and 25-17 (M) are still in Jackson Co, AL likely with adult 37-07 (M).

28-17 (M) left Okeechobee Co, FL, and is in Jackson Co, IN with Sandhill Cranes.

24-17 (M) is still in Randolph Co, IL, however 63-15 has returned to Wisconsin.

72-17 (M) is still in Hendry Co, FL. (Note: as of 4/3/2018, she is in Lake County, FL.)

30-17 (F) left Plaquemines Parish, LA, and is currently in Hickman Co, KY.

38-17 (F) is still in Dodge Co, WI with Sandhill Cranes.

39-17 (F) is in LaPorte Co, IN with Sandhill Cranes.

36-17 (F) left Madison Co, FL and is currently in Gallatin Co, IL.

Costume-Reared 2017 Cohort

3-17 (M) and 7-17 (F) left Morgan Co, AL at Wheeler NWR, and are currently in Webster Co, KY with 69-16.

4-17 (M) and 6-17 (F) left Fulton Co, KY and are currently in Clinton Co, IL.

1-17 (M), 2-17 (F), and 8-17 (F) left Talladega Co, AL and are currently in Lawrence Co, TN.

Parent-Reared 2016 Cohort

29-16 (M) and 39-16 (M) left Dyer Co, TN and were in Adams Co, WI, with 31-16 and W3-17. 39-16 is currently in Monroe Co, WI, but we’re not sure if the other birds moved with him.

30-16 (M) and 5-12 (M) left St. Mark’s NWR in Wakulla Co, FL, and are currently in Saline Co, IL. (Note: it is believed these two resumed migration between 3/29 – 4/1)

31-16 (M) left Weakley Co, TN, and was last seen in Adams Co, WI, with 29-16, W3-17, and 39-16. 39-16 has moved to Monroe Co, but we’re not sure if 31-16 and others went with him.

33-16 (F)’s satellite transmitter is still firing off along the Mississippi River in Clinton Co, IA, however she has not been seen. We suspect she may be dead, but we have not yet removed her from the totals until we can confirm.

69-16 (F) left Wheeler NWR in Morgan Co, AL and is currently in Webster Co, KY with 3-17 and 7-17.

71-16 (F) left Jackson Co, IN, and is currently in Winnebago Co, WI.

Confirmed Whooping Crane locations as of 2 April 2018.

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One Comment

  1. Barbara April 4, 2018 1:39 pm

    Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the total number could reach 110 this year.