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  • WCEP News Release July 1, 2010 Whooping Crane Chicks Hatch at Necedah NWR
    flock and teaching them to fly behind the ultralights This fall Operation Migration will use ultralights to guide the young cranes on their first southward migration to Florida the cranes winter home The dedicated crane staff at Patuxent has produced raised and trained a very healthy group of chicks to follow the ultralights this year with the expert help of volunteers from Disney Wild Kingdom and our usual local volunteers said John French research manager for the whooping crane program at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center As every year we could not accomplish this without the partnership of Operation Migration and FWS Patuxent Research Refuge on whose land we work In 2001 WCEP project partner Operation Migration s pilots led the first whooping crane chicks conditioned to follow their ultralight aircraft surrogates south from Necedah NWR to Chassahowitzka NWR in Florida Each subsequent year WCEP biologists and pilots have conditioned and guided additional groups of juvenile cranes to Florida Having been shown the way once the young birds initiate their return migration in the spring and in subsequent years continue to migrate on their own In 2008 St Marks NWR along Florida s Gulf Coast was added as an additional wintering site for the juvenile cranes In addition to the ultralight led birds biologists from the International Crane Foundation and the U S Fish and Wildlife Service rear whooping crane chicks at Necedah NWR and release them in the company of older cranes from whom the young birds learn the migration route This is the sixth year WCEP has used this Direct Autumn Release method The ultralight led and DAR chicks are this year joining five wild hatched chicks in the 2010 cohort The wild hatched chicks face a precarious existence in the first weeks of their lives and natural loss of some chicks due to predation is not unexpected WCEP has high hopes for many of these wild crane chicks surviving to fledge and accompanying their parents on the fall migration to the wintering grounds Whooping cranes that take part in the ultralight and Direct Autumn Release reintroductions are hatched at the U S Geological Survey s Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel Md and at the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo Wis Chicks are raised under a strict isolation protocol and to ensure the birds remain wild handlers adhere to a no talking rule and wear costumes designed to mask the human form In the spring and fall project staff from the International Crane Foundation and the U S Fish and Wildlife Service track and monitor the released cranes in an effort to learn as much as possible about their unassisted journeys and the habitat choices they make both along the way and on their summering and wintering grounds Most of the whooping cranes released in previous years spend the summer in central Wisconsin where they use areas on or near Necedah NWR as well as other public and private lands Whooping cranes were on the verge of

    Original URL path: http://www.bringbackthecranes.org/newsroom/2010/nr1July2010.html (2016-05-02)
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  • WCEP: June 2010 Project Update
    Population EMP of whooping cranes consisting of 52 males 43 females and five chicks see below Most birds were located in Wisconsin with single birds located in Indiana and Michigan and two birds last reported from North Dakota on May 25 Two other birds have not been located since spring migration and three are long term missing The most recent known locations of all EMP whooping cranes are shown in the map below Nesting Status At least nine breeding pairs of whooping cranes attempted nesting this year with all nests except two located on Necedah National Wildlife Refuge As of mid June all nests have either hatched or failed due to abandonment This year we had a mix of early and late nesting and renesting and also placed one captive reared egg into the nest of a pair with two infertile eggs A total of 7 chicks hatched in the nests of 5 pairs and 5 chicks are alive as of mid June one with each pair Reporting Sightings Please forward any sightings you receive to us through the whooping crane reporting web site we have established for that purpose http www fws gov midwest whoopingcrane sightings sightingform cfm The

    Original URL path: http://www.bringbackthecranes.org/technicaldatabase/projectupdates/2010/wcepupdate2010June.html (2016-05-02)
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  • WCEP News Release June 3, 2010 Whooping Crane Chicks Hatch at Necedah NWR
    abandoned those first nests Later this spring four pairs renested including 9 03 and 3 04 and three additional pairs initiated nests Five pairs currently remain on their nests The nest abandonments earlier this spring are similar to what has been observed in previous years WCEP is investigating the cause of the abandonments through analysis of data collected throughout the nesting period on crane behavior and black fly abundance and distribution Whooping cranes are long lived birds that may start nesting attempts at three to five years of age and can continue hatching eggs and rearing chicks past the age of 30 In captivity the oldest breeding whooping crane is currently 41 years old The oldest whooping crane known to be producing young in the wild is 32 years old In 2001 WCEP project partner Operation Migration s pilots led the first whooping crane chicks conditioned to follow their ultralight aircraft surrogates south from Necedah NWR to Chassahowitzka NWR in Florida Each subsequent year WCEP biologists and pilots have conditioned and guided additional groups of juvenile cranes to Florida Having been shown the way once the young birds initiate their return migration in the spring and in subsequent years continue to migrate on their own In 2008 St Marks NWR along Florida s Gulf Coast was added as an additional wintering site for the juvenile cranes In addition to the ultralight led birds biologists from the International Crane Foundation and the U S Fish and Wildlife Service rear whooping crane chicks at Necedah NWR and release them in the company of older cranes from whom the young birds learn the migration route This is the sixth year WCEP has used this Direct Autumn Release method Whooping cranes that take part in the ultralight and Direct Autumn Release reintroductions are hatched at the U S Geological Survey s Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel Md and at the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo Wis Chicks are raised under a strict isolation protocol and to ensure the birds remain wild handlers adhere to a no talking rule and wear costumes designed to mask the human form In the spring and fall project staff from the International Crane Foundation and the U S Fish and Wildlife Service track and monitor the released cranes in an effort to learn as much as possible about their unassisted journeys and the habitat choices they make both along the way and on their summering and wintering grounds Most of the whooping cranes released in previous years spend the summer in central Wisconsin where they use areas on or near Necedah NWR as well as other public and private lands Whooping cranes were on the verge of extinction in the 1940s Today there are only about 550 birds in existence approximately 400 of them in the wild Aside from the 102 WCEP birds the only other migrating population of whooping cranes nests at Wood Buffalo National Park in northern Alberta Canada and winters at Aransas NWR on the

    Original URL path: http://www.bringbackthecranes.org/newsroom/2010/nr3June2010.html (2016-05-02)
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  • WCEP: April 2010 Project Update
    most recent known locations of all birds are shown in the map below Most birds for which locations are known are in Wisconsin with an additional 2 birds in Iowa and single birds located in Indiana Illinois and Michigan Most of the 2009 cohort have successfully migrated back to Wisconsin with the exception of the one bird still in Indiana and several DAR birds whose current locations are unknown Nesting Status At least nine breeding pairs of whooping cranes have already attempted nesting with most of the nests located on Necedah NWR and one nest on a private cranberry operation As of April 14 all nests had already failed due to abandonment This nest abandonment pattern is similar to what has been observed in the past few years We still have not identified the causes of this abandonment pattern but ongoing intensive studies will hopefully provide some helpful information This year we managed to conduct video surveillance of all but one whooping crane nest from the first nest attempts and have also been conducting dummy nest experiments and collecting biting insect data at all failed whooping crane nests We remain optimistic that successful nesting could occur yet in 2010 as there are a number of whooping crane pairs that have not yet attempted to nest and at least some of the failed pairs are expected to renest Aransas Wood Buffalo Wild Flock The majority of whooping cranes in the Aransas Wood Buffalo flock have already departed for their breeding grounds in Wood Buffalo National Park in the Northwest Territories and Alberta Canada Current flock size is estimated at 242 adults and 21 first year birds for a total of 263 Reporting Sightings Please forward any sightings you receive to us through the whooping crane reporting web site we have established

    Original URL path: http://www.bringbackthecranes.org/technicaldatabase/projectupdates/2010/wcepupdate2010LateApril.html (2016-05-02)
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  • WCEP: March 2010 Project Update
    use our reporting web site http www fws gov midwest whoopingcrane sightings sightingform cfm March 2010 Population Status As of mid March 2010 there are up to 105 birds in the Eastern Migratory Whooping Crane population consisting of 59 males and 46 females This total includes five birds not recorded since late 2009 and seven birds that have not been seen since mid summer The most recent known locations of all birds are shown in the map below 2009 Ultralight Cohort The 20 young cranes led to Florida behind ultralight aircraft have been doing well in their winter quarters with 10 birds at St Marks National Wildlife Refuge NWR and 10 at Chassahowitzka NWR One of the Chassahowitzka birds recently disappeared though its fate remains unknown at this time The birds will continue to be monitored until they depart for Wisconsin and the Tracking Team will then closely monitor the young cranes on their first northward migration Based upon our experience from previous years we expect departure to occur some time in late March or early April 2009 Direct Autumn Release DAR Cohort Of the nine birds released using the DAR technique this year all continue to associate with older

    Original URL path: http://www.bringbackthecranes.org/technicaldatabase/projectupdates/2010/wcepupdate2010march.html (2016-05-02)
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  • WCEP: Mid-September 2009 Project Update
    Carolina 6 in Alabama 1 in Mississippi 15 in Tennessee 8 in Kentucky and 8 in Indiana 2009 Ultralight Cohort First year whooping cranes spend the winter in and near open pens like this one at St Mark s National Wildlife Refuge in Florida Subsequent to our previous update the 20 cranes led to Florida behind ultralight aircraft completed their first migration The 10 birds destined for the wintering site at St Marks National Wildlife Refuge NWR arrived on January 13 and the 10 remaining young whooping cranes arrived at their wintering destination at Chassahowitzka NWR on January 20 Soon after their arrival each of the two groups of cranes received health checks and permanent bands and transmitters Each group of young cranes were retained in a top netted enclosure at each site for a brief period of acclimation before release and are now free to explore the habitats in the vicinity of their open pens All birds will be monitored throughout the winter until they depart on their own for the migration back to Wisconsin 2009 Direct Autumn Release DAR Cohort Of the nine birds released using the DAR technique this year all continue to associate with older whooping

    Original URL path: http://www.bringbackthecranes.org/technicaldatabase/projectupdates/2010/wcepupdate2010feb.html (2016-05-02)
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  • WCEP:USFWS News Release January 21, 2010
    Lusk Refuge Manager at Chassahowitzka NWR The staff at Chassahowitzka NWR worked hard to make sure that everything was ready for the arrival of the birds We are very excited to be a part of this project and to be able to share our excitement with our partners at the St Marks NWR This is the second year the cranes have wintered at two separate locations The decision to split the flock came after the loss in February 2007 of 17 of the 18 Class of 2006 whooping cranes in a severe storm at Chassahowitzka NWR WCEP hopes the two wintering locations will help reduce the risk of another catastrophic loss In addition to the 20 birds led south by project partner Operation Migration s ultralights nine cranes made their first southward migration this fall as part of WCEP s Direct Autumn Release DAR program Biologists from the International Crane Foundation and the U S Fish and Wildlife Service reared the cranes at Necedah NWR and released them in the company of older cranes from whom the young birds learned the migration route One of the DAR birds arrived in Lake County Florida earlier this month Seven of the cranes migrated to Tennessee and one is located in Indiana All of the DAR birds are in the company of older whooping cranes This is the fifth year WCEP has used this DAR method Whooping cranes that take part in the ultralight and DAR reintroductions are hatched at the U S Geological Survey s Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel Md and at the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo Wis Chicks are raised under a strict isolation protocol and to ensure the birds remain wild handlers adhere to a no talking rule and wear costumes designed to mask the human form In 2001 Operation Migration s pilots led the first whooping crane chicks conditioned to follow their ultralight aircraft surrogates south from Necedah NWR to Chassahowitzka NWR Each subsequent year WCEP biologists and pilots have conditioned and guided additional groups of juvenile cranes to Chassahowitzka NWR Once led south the cranes are able to migrate on their own without assistance in following years In the spring and fall project staff from the International Crane Foundation and the U S Fish and Wildlife Service track and monitor the released cranes in an effort to learn as much as possible about their unassisted journeys and the habitat choices they make both along the way and on their summering and wintering grounds Most graduated classes of whooping cranes spend the summer in central Wisconsin where they use areas on or near the Necedah NWR as well as other public and private lands Whooping cranes were on the verge of extinction in the 1940s Today there are only about 550 birds in existence approximately 375 of them in the wild Aside from the 85 birds reintroduced by WCEP the only other migrating population of whooping cranes nests at the Wood Buffalo National Park in the

    Original URL path: http://www.bringbackthecranes.org/newsroom/2010/nr21January2010.html (2016-05-02)
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  • WCEP:USFWS News Release January 7, 2010
    ultralights said Terry Peacock Refuge Manager at St Marks NWR Both events were equally moving I appreciate WCEP allowing St Marks to be a part of this recovery effort This is the second year the cranes have wintered at two separate locations The decision to split the flock came after the loss in February 2007 of 17 of the 18 Class of 2006 whooping cranes in a severe storm at Chassahowitzka NWR WCEP hopes the two wintering locations will help reduce the risk of another catastrophic loss In addition to the 20 birds led south by project partner Operation Migration s ultralights nine cranes made their first southward migration this fall as part of WCEP s Direct Autumn Release DAR program Biologists from the International Crane Foundation and the U S Fish and Wildlife Service reared the cranes at Necedah NWR and released them in the company of older cranes from whom the young birds learned the migration route One of the DAR birds arrived in Lake County Florida earlier this month Seven of the cranes are currently in Tennessee and one is located in Indiana All of the DAR birds are in the company of older whooping cranes This is the fifth year WCEP has used this DAR method Whooping cranes that take part in the ultralight and DAR reintroductions are hatched at the U S Geological Survey s Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel Md and at the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo Wis Chicks are raised under a strict isolation protocol and to ensure the birds remain wild handlers adhere to a no talking rule and wear costumes designed to mask the human form In 2001 Operation Migration s pilots led the first whooping crane chicks conditioned to follow their ultralight aircraft surrogates south from Necedah NWR to Chassahowitzka NWR Each subsequent year WCEP biologists and pilots have conditioned and guided additional groups of juvenile cranes to Chassahowitzka NWR Once led south the cranes are able to migrate on their own without assistance in following years In the spring and fall project staff from the International Crane Foundation and the U S Fish and Wildlife Service track and monitor the released cranes in an effort to learn as much as possible about their unassisted journeys and the habitat choices they make both along the way and on their summering and wintering grounds Most graduated classes of whooping cranes spend the summer in central Wisconsin where they use areas on or near the Necedah NWR as well as other public and private lands Whooping cranes were on the verge of extinction in the 1940s Today there are only about 550 birds in existence approximately 375 of them in the wild Aside from the 85 birds reintroduced by WCEP the only other migrating population of whooping cranes nests at the Wood Buffalo National Park in the Northwest Territories of Canada and winters at the Aransas NWR on the Texas Gulf Coast A non migrating flock of approximately 30 birds

    Original URL path: http://www.bringbackthecranes.org/newsroom/2010/nr14January2010.html (2016-05-02)
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