Crane Conservation

What We Do

The Crane Conservation Department (CCD) is responsible for all the activities that pertain to the care of our on-site, captive flock of over 100 cranes. In addition to meeting the daily needs of the flock (provision of fresh food and water and pen cleaning), CCD staff also conduct behavioral observations, perform artificial insemination, manage egg incubation, maintain records, and raise crane chicks using special isolation-rearing techniques (costume-rearing) to prepare then for release into the wild. We work closely with the Veterinary Services Department in our daily efforts to maintain a healthy flock.

The CCD utilizes advanced avicultural practices to produce and maintain captive-bred cranes that are suitable for reintroduction, breeding, research, and educational display. For an in-depth look at these varied techniques please see http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/resshow/gee/cranbook/cranebook.htm CCD also contributes to international crane conservation projects in an advisory capacity and often provides training for colleagues from other countries.

Today, the majority of CCD’s efforts and resources are applied to the conservation of Whooping Crane populations in North America through the reintroduction of captive bred and reared birds. This important project will provide a scientific evidence of whether or not captive breeding for reintroduction is an effective approach to bolstering and re-establishing wild, free-living populations of cranes.

Department Personnel

The CCD consists of six full-time staff members.

CCD also employs from three to five interns depending on the year. Internships are usually six months in length and are open on a competitive basis. For more information and application instructions click here.