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  • WCEP: Jan. 15, 2009 Project Update
    until they depart on their own for the migration back to Wisconsin To see the entries posted throughout the migration of the ultralight cohort see the Operation Migration web site at http www operationmigration org Field Journal html 2008 DAR Cohort Of the six surviving birds released using the DAR technique this year all are continuing to associate with older whooping cranes As of January 14 four birds were located in Tennessee and two birds are now in Florida Aransas Wood Buffalo Wild Flock The Aransas Wood Buffalo flock is the only natural wild population of whooping cranes and all whooping cranes are the descendants of 15 birds surviving in this population in 1941 Cranes in this population nest in Wood Buffalo National Park in the Northwest Territories and Alberta Canada and winter in and near Aransas NWR on the Texas gulf coast The most recent winter census conducted January 8 2009 estimated a peak flock size of 270 whooping cranes including 38 juveniles The 270 total is a record total 4 higher than last winter However two whooping cranes have died at Aransas since the fall migration leaving the estimated flock size currently at 268 Florida Non Migratory Flock In 1993 the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission FWC began releasing whooping cranes in central Florida in an effort to establish a non migratory flock of whooping cranes The establishment of additional populations of whooping cranes is identified as a primary recovery action in the International Whooping Crane Recovery Plan Between 1993 and 2004 289 captive raised whooping cranes were released in central Florida and in 2002 the first wild hatched chick was produced Between 1999 and 2008 a total of 68 nesting attempts resulted in 31 chicks hatched and 9 fledged Throughout the reintroduction project this population has

    Original URL path: http://www.bringbackthecranes.org/technicaldatabase/projectupdates/2009/UpdateJan2009.html (2016-05-02)
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  • WCEP: Mid-December Project Update
    but the majority of migration departures occurred between November 15 and 20 The most recent information indicates the approximate distribution shown on the map below which does not include thirteen birds not recently located in their migration We expect additional movements in the days weeks ahead although some birds have already arrived in the areas where they will spend the winter 2008 Ultralight Cohort Since departing October 17 southward progress of the14 cranes for the ultralight project has been hampered by several large and persistent weather systems that have prevented travel on numerous days Operation Migration reports that all birds have flown well together and they are pleased with their new more westerly route As of December 3 these birds had travelled 525 miles and were at their second stop in Kentucky For daily updates on the progress of the ultralight cohort see the Operation Migration web site at http www operationmigration org Field Journal html 2008 DAR Cohort Of the seven birds released using the DAR technique this year all are currently migrating with older whooping cranes As of the end of November four birds were located in northern Illinois two birds in southern Indiana and one bird was

    Original URL path: http://www.bringbackthecranes.org/technicaldatabase/projectupdates/2008/UpdateDec2008.html (2016-05-02)
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  • WCEP: Mid-November Project Update
    in Indiana 3 in Michigan one in Ohio and 45 remaining in Wisconsin see map below With migration currently in progress the relative locations of these birds are expected to change daily We expect most of the remaining whooping cranes to commence migration at any time and all birds to have departed by early December 2008 Ultralight Cohort On October 17 the14 cranes for the ultralight project departed Necedah NWR on their way to the wintering sites in Florida So far southern progress has been slow due to a large number of days when weather was unsuitable for flying As of November 18 these birds have made it as far as north central Illinois For daily updates on the progress of the ultralight cohort see the Operation Migration web site at http www operationmigration org Field Journal html 2008 DAR Cohort The six birds designated for the DAR project were released on the Necedah NWR on October 18 On October 22 a seventh bird was released that had originally been intended for the ultralight project but was transferred to the DAR project due to aggressive behavior As of November 19 one of the birds has been lost to a predator and four of the remaining six birds have commenced migration Reporting Sightings Please be on the alert now for migrants that could be seen in your state and pass any sightings on 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 link above provides a public reporting form on a site maintained by the U S Fish and Wildlife Service FWS When a report is submitted the information goes simultaneously to multiple partners including the biologists who are tracking the birds FWS Wisconsin Department

    Original URL path: http://www.bringbackthecranes.org/technicaldatabase/projectupdates/2008/UpdateNov2008.html (2016-05-02)
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  • WCEP News Release: Eighth Group of Endangered Whooping Cranes
    conservation education Also we know it will be safer and we hope it will be faster The fourteen ultralight led cranes will be split into two groups upon arrival in Florida one group will winter at Chassahowitzka NWR and one group will spend the winter at St Marks NWR The decision to split the birds comes 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 separate wintering locations will help reduce the risk of another catastrophic loss In addition to the 14 birds being led south by ultralights biologists from the International Crane Foundation and the U S Fish and Wildlife Service reared six whooping cranes at Necedah NWR The birds will be released in the company of older cranes from whom the young birds will learn the migration route This is the fourth year WCEP has used this Direct Autumn Release method which supplements the ultralight migrations 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 2001 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 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 525 birds in existence 375 of them in the wild Aside from the 68 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 National Wildlife Refuge on the Texas Gulf Coast A non migrating flock of approximately 35 birds lives year round in the central Florida Kissimmee region Whooping cranes named for their loud and penetrating unison calls live and breed in wetland areas where they feed on crabs clams frogs and aquatic plants They are distinctive animals

    Original URL path: http://www.bringbackthecranes.org/newsroom/2008/NR17Oct08.html (2016-05-02)
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  • WCEP: St. Marks NWR Whooping Crane Pen Construction
    Marks National Wildlife Refuge prepare habitat inside the new whooping crane pen At a work party held on Saturday September 27 ROTC volunteers filled 900 sandbags to construct an oyster reef in the pen The pen will soon be the winter home for a group of young whooping cranes which will be the first to arrive at this newly established wintering site When completed the oyster reef will provide a secure roosting area where the young cranes can get in the habit of roosting in water a behavior essential to protection from predators New whooping crane pen at St Marks NWR September 2008 Photo by Billy Brooks The Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership WCEP has released young whooping cranes every year since 2001 as part of a project to reintroduce a migratory population to eastern North America This population currently numbers 73 birds in addition to the 14 birds currently being led southward behind ultralight aircraft For the first time WCEP has decided to split the current year cohort into two groups One group will winter at the already established site at Chassahowitzka NWR in Citrus County and the other group will winter at St Marks NWR The decision to split

    Original URL path: http://www.bringbackthecranes.org/technicaldatabase/projectupdates/2009/stmarks2009oct.html (2016-05-02)
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  • WCEP: Whooping Crane Pen Repair at Chassahowitzka NWR
    2008 Photo by USFWS Keith Ramos Staff of Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge and the U S Fish and Wildlife Services Jacksonville Florida Field Office recently collaborated with volunteers including members of the Refuge Friends group on repairs and upgrades to the whooping crane pen facilities located on the Refuge This pen has been the winter home to a new cohort of whooping cranes each fall since 2001 and will soon house the Class of 2008 whooping crane chicks scheduled to arrive later this fall Work completed included vegetation clearing fence repair and upgrading a boardwalk that provides safe access to the pen by project staff This much needed maintenance will help to provide protection from predators and ensure the survival of these valuable birds over the wintering period Marsh Masters at work adjacent to the Chassahowitzka pen site October 2008 Photo by Keith Ramos The Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership WCEP has been releasing young whooping cranes since 2001 as part of an ongoing project to reintroduce a migratory population to eastern North America This population currently numbers 73 birds in the wild in addition to the 14 birds currently being led southward behind ultralight aircraft The exact date of arrival

    Original URL path: http://www.bringbackthecranes.org/technicaldatabase/projectupdates/2009/chasspenrepair2009oct.html (2016-05-02)
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  • WCEP:
    their first year of life and most of the birds not currently in the Wisconsin reintroduction area are young birds hatched in 2007 Nesting Success and Disappointments We had our first nesting attempts in Wisconsin in 2005 although they were unsuccessful However in 2006 we saw at least 10 breeding pairs produce five nests with eggs For the first time in over 100 years in the eastern United States one of these nests successfully hatched and fledged a wild whooping crane This wild raised chick is still alive after twice migrating to the Florida wintering area and back In 2007 there were four more nesting attempts but all nests were abandoned prior to hatching In 2008 we documented 11 nesting attempts all of which again were abandoned during incubation The cause for the nest abandonment we have observed over the past several years has not yet been determined but is currently a priority subject of study for this project 2008 Cohort s Fall Migration We are currently preparing 21 chicks for the fall 2008 migration 15 cranes for the ultralight project and 6 for the DAR project The ultralight birds are training by flying behind the aircraft every day dependant upon weather to gain strength and endurance The targeted departure date is October 10 with plans to use a new more westerly migration route to Florida this year See map below This new route was established to avoid the difficulties associated with crossing the Appalachians The DAR birds will continue their training until late fall when they will be released in groups of two to three birds near suitable older cranes near the Necedah NWR rearing site These DAR birds will be carefully monitored during the fall migration to track their locations and ensure their continued progress towards the Florida

    Original URL path: http://www.bringbackthecranes.org/technicaldatabase/projectupdates/2008/UpdateSept2008.html (2016-05-02)
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  • Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership - "Class of 2008" Arrive at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge
    Florida the cranes winter home This year started out with slow egg production but has picked up and Patuxent expects to provide a full group of birds for migration behind the ultralights Our operations and work load this year have benefited greatly from the help of expert volunteers from Disney Animal Kingdom and Sea World said John French research manager for the whooping crane program at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center Both of those organizations are in Florida the winter home of the Eastern migratory flock and both are committed to assist with ongoing endangered species field work a commitment we and the whooping cranes are very grateful for In addition to the ultralight led birds biologists from the International Crane Foundation and the U S Fish and Wildlife Service are rearing whooping crane chicks that will be released this fall into the company of older birds from whom the young birds will learn the migration route from Necedah NWR to Florida This is the fourth year WCEP has used this Direct Autumn Release method which supplements the success of the ultralight migrations In 2001 the first whooping crane chicks were led south behind ultralight aircraft 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 The whooping crane chicks that take part in the reintroduction project are hatched at the U S Geological Survey s Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel Md and 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 New classes of cranes are brought to Necedah NWR each June to begin a summer of conditioning behind the ultralights to prepare them for their fall migration Operation Migration s pilots lead the birds on gradually longer training flights at the refuge throughout the summer until the young cranes are deemed ready to follow the aircraft along the migration route 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 530 birds in existence 380 of them in the wild Aside from the 72 Wisconsin Florida birds 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/2008/NR26June08.html (2016-05-02)
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