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International Crane Foundation

 

Whooping Crane Eastern Population Update – Jan 2019

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Whooping Crane chick W5-18 (middle) with parents W3-10 and 8-04 in Greene County, Indiana

Below is the most recent update for the Eastern Migratory Population (EMP) of Whooping Cranes. In the last month, the remaining Whooping Cranes have reached their wintering locations. 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 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 101 (45 F, 53 M, 3 U). To the best of our knowledge, as of 7 January, approximately 11 Whooping Cranes are in Illinois, 33 are in Indiana, 9 are in Kentucky, 6 are in Tennessee, 18 are in Alabama, 2 are in Georgia, and 5 are in Florida. There is also one female Whooping Crane from the Louisiana Non-Migratory Population (L4-17) with EMP cranes at Wheeler NWR in Morgan Co, AL. The remaining birds’ locations have not been confirmed in the last month. See map below.

Confirmed Whooping Crane locations as of 7 January 2019.

2018 Wild-hatched birds

W1_18 (F) was last seen in November with parents 12_11 and 5_11 in Knox Co, IN. The family group has not been seen during December.

W3_18 (F) has not been seen during December, although is likely in Kentucky with parents 24_09 and 42_09.

W5_18 (M) is with parents W3_10 and 8_04 in Greene Co, IN.

W6_18 (M) is with his parents 1-04 and 16-07 in Lawrence Co, IL.

W10_18 (U) is with its parents 4-08 and 23-10 in Greene Co, IN.

2018 Parent-reared Cohort

16_11 (M), 73_18 (F), and 74_18 (M) are in Jasper Co, IN, in the same area as 39_17 (F).

77_18 (M) is in Sarasota Co, FL.

2017 Wild-hatched birds

W3_17 (F) and W7_17 (F) are both at Wheeler NWR in Morgan Co, AL, along with about a dozen other Whooping Cranes.

2017 Parent-reared Cohort

19_17 (M) and 25_17 (M) are in Jackson Co, AL.

28_17 (M) was last reported in early December in Jasper Co, IN.

24_17 (M) is in Alachua Co, FL.

72_17 (M) is in Jefferson Co, TN.

38_17 (F) is with 63-15 (M) in Randolph Co, IL.

39_17 (F) is in Jasper Co, IN in the same area as 16_11, 73_18, and 74_18.

2017 Costume-Reared Cohort

7_17 (F) and 4_14 (M) are in Webster Co, KY.

3_17 (M) is now at Wheeler NWR in Morgan Co, AL.

4_17 (M) and 6_17 (F) are in Hickman Co, KY.

1_17 (M), 2_17 (F) are in Morgan Co, AL at Wheeler NWR.

8_17 (F) has also turned up in Morgan Co, AL at Wheeler NWR.

Winter Distribution

To the best of our knowledge, these cranes are in the following states or were reported there during December. It is possible the cranes have moved to new locations by the end of the month. The remaining cranes’ locations are unknown.

Illinois: 10_11, 27_14, 16_07, 1_04, W6_18, 16_04, 6_15, 38_17, 63_15, 9_03, 3_04

Indiana: 16_11, 73_18, 74_18, 16_12, 12_03, 12_05, 29_08, 15_11, 39_17, 28_17, 68_15, 28_05, 2_15, W5_18, W3_10, 8_04, W10_18, 23_10, 4_08, W1_06, 1_10, 9_05, 13_03, 7_11, 3_11, 18_03, 36_09, 19_10, W10_15, 69_16, 12_09, 19_09, 25_10

Kentucky: 24_09, 42_09, W3_18, 4_17, 6_17, 4_14, 7_17, 2_04, 25_09

Tennessee: 72_17, 5_10, 28_08, 31_16, 66_15, 14_12

Alabama: 17_11, 37_07, 19_17, 25_17, 8_17, 13_02, 24_08, 14_15, 1_11, 59_13, 1_17, 2_17, 10_15, 4_13, 11_15, W3_17, 3_17, W7_17, and one bird from the Louisiana Non-Migratory Population (L4-17).

Georgia: 4_12, 3_14

Florida: 24_17, 77_18, 30_16, 5_12, 67_15

Mortality

None known.

Story submitted by Hillary Thompson, North America Program Crane Analyst. Click here to learn more about our work in North America.