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  • WCEP:USFWS News Release December 9, 2009
    with the U S Fish and Wildlife Service FWS and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources are investigating the shooting of an endangered whooping crane near the town of Cayuga in central Vermillion County Indiana The crane was shot sometime between Saturday Nov 28 when it was observed by an International Crane Foundation ICF staff member and Tuesday Dec 1 2009 when an ICF volunteer found the carcass along West County Road 310 North just west of North County Road 225 West The crane was identified by a leg band and determined to be the seven year old mother of Wild 1 the only whooping crane chick successfully hatched in 2006 and migrated from captivity There are approximately 500 whooping cranes left in the world The crane and its mate were among 19 whooping cranes migrating from their summer grounds in Wisconsin to their wintering grounds in Florida To kill and abandon one of 500 remaining members of species shows a lack of reverence for life and an absence of simple common sense said John Christian FWS Assistant Regional Director for Migratory Birds It is inconceivable that someone would have such little regard for conservation Indiana Department of Natural Resources conservation officers and U S Fish and Wildlife Service special agents are conducting a joint investigation into the incident The U S Fish and Wildlife Service is offering a minimum reward of 2 500 to the person or people who provide information leading to a conviction Anyone with information should call the Indiana Department of Natural Resources 24 hour hotline at 1 800 TIP IDNR 800 847 4367 or the U S Fish Wildlife Service at 317 346 7016 Callers can remain anonymous In addition to the Endangered Species Act whooping cranes are protected by state laws and the federal

    Original URL path: http://www.bringbackthecranes.org/newsroom/2009/nrFWS9December2009.html (2016-05-02)
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  • WCEP:November 5, 2009 News Release
    wild in Wisconsin in more than a century Each fall pilots from Operation Migration OM a WCEP founding partner leads a new generation of whooping cranes behind their ultralight aircraft to wintering grounds in Florida Unaided the cranes will make the return migration to the Upper Midwest in the spring Completion of this leg of the migration puts us within range of achieving an aviation and avian milestone said Joe Duff Operation Migration CEO and Senior Pilot Somewhere over northern Illinois we will mark our 10 000th mile in the air leading endangered Whooping cranes on their first migration The ultralight led flock from Necedah NWR will pass through Wisconsin Illinois Kentucky Tennessee Alabama and Georgia to reach the final destinations in Florida Because the ability to fly with the birds is entirely weather dependent the duration of the migration is unknown To help speed the migration and improve safety for the birds and the pilots a new route was developed last year that takes the team around the Appalachian Mountains rather than over them In addition to the 20 ultralight led birds biologists from the International Crane Foundation ICF and the Service reared nine whooping cranes at Necedah NWR The birds were released in the company of older cranes from whom the young birds will learn the migration route This is the fifth 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 Most of the reintroduced whooping cranes spend the summer in central Wisconsin where they use areas on the Necedah NWR as well as various state and private lands Reintroduced whooping cranes have also spent time in Minnesota Iowa Illinois Michigan and other upper Midwest states In the spring and fall project staff from ICF and the Service track and monitor the released cranes in an effort to learn as much as possible about their unassisted migrations and the habitat choices they make along the way The birds are monitored during the winter in Florida by WCEP project staff ICF and Service biologists continue to monitor the birds while they are in their summer locations The Whooping Crane Recovery Team has established a target number for this reintroduction Once there are at least 125 individuals including 25 breeding pairs migrating in this eastern corridor the population could be considered self sustaining Whooping cranes were on the verge of extinction in the 1940s Today there are only about 500 birds in existence 350 of them in the wild Aside from the 77 Wisconsin Florida birds the only other migrating population of whooping cranes nests at the Wood Buffalo National Park

    Original URL path: http://www.bringbackthecranes.org/newsroom/2009/nr5November2009.html (2016-05-02)
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  • WCEP: October 26, 2009 News Release: Young Whooping Cranes Will Learn Migration Route
    DAR birds said Jim Hook President and CEO of the International Crane Foundation The Direct Autumn Release program now in its fifth year provides WCEP with an additional opportunity to increase and strengthen the eastern migratory whooping crane population Biologists from the International Crane Foundation and the U S Fish and Wildlife Service are tracking the released cranes using radio telemetry picking up radio signals emitted from leg transmitters on the birds In addition to the nine DAR birds 20 whooping cranes are currently being led south by project partner Operation Migration s ultralight aircraft The ultralight led birds are currently in Juneau County Wis 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 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 2008 in addition to wintering at Chassahowitzka NWR half of the ultralight led cranes spent the winter at St Marks NWR along Florida s Gulf Coast The decision to split the cohort 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 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 500 birds in existence 350 of them in the wild Aside from the 77 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 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

    Original URL path: http://www.bringbackthecranes.org/newsroom/2009/nr26October2009.html (2016-05-02)
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  • WCEP: October 23, 2009 News Release: Ninth Group of Whooping Cranes Depart
    there are 1 285 miles ahead of us with no guarantees We have done everything we can to prepare them now we need favorable winds and a little luck It took the combined efforts of many people to bring this project to this stage Operation Migration maintains a daily journal of the fall migration In addition to the 20 birds being led south by ultralights biologists from the International Crane Foundation and the U S Fish and Wildlife Service reared nine 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 fifth 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 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 2008 in addition to wintering at Chassahowitzka NWR half of the ultralight led cranes spent the winter at St Marks NWR along Florida s Gulf Coast The decision to split the cohort 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 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 500 birds in existence 350 of them in the wild Aside from the 77 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 lives year round in the central Florida Kissimmee region Whooping cranes named for their loud and penetrating

    Original URL path: http://www.bringbackthecranes.org/newsroom/2009/nr23October2009.html (2016-05-02)
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  • WCEP: June 26, 2009 News Release
    everything we can to prepare them Now we need favorable winds and a little luck It took the combined efforts of many people to bring this project to this stage The ultralight led flock from Necedah NWR will pass through Wisconsin Illinois Kentucky Tennessee Alabama and Georgia to reach the final destinations at St Marks and Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuges in Florida For the first time the new technology of our mobile CraneCam will allow us to take viewers along on the great adventure of a wild migration said Duff That experience will be enhanced with the introduction of OM s TrikeCam that will allow viewers to fly with us too The duration of the migration is completely dependent on weather It is unknown how long it will take the team to reach their final destination To help speed the migration and improve safety for the birds and the pilots a new route was developed last year that takes the team around the Appalachian Mountains rather than over them In addition to the 21 ultralight led birds biologists from the International Crane Foundation ICF and the Service reared nine whooping cranes at Necedah NWR The birds were released in the company of older cranes from whom the young birds will learn the migration route This is the fifth 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 Most of the reintroduced whooping cranes spend the summer in central Wisconsin where they use areas on the Necedah NWR as well as various state and private lands Reintroduced whooping cranes have also spent time in Minnesota Iowa Illinois Michigan and other upper Midwest states In the spring and fall project staff from ICF and the Service track and monitor the released cranes in an effort to learn as much as possible about their unassisted migrations and the habitat choices they make along the way The birds are monitored during the winter in Florida by WCEP project staff ICF and Service biologists continue to monitor the birds while they are in their summer locations The Whooping Crane Recovery Team has established a target number for this reintroduction Once there are at least 125 individuals including 25 breeding pairs migrating in this eastern corridor the population could be considered self sustaining With 77 birds now in the wild and another 30 soon to be released this project is well past the half way mark Whooping cranes were on the verge of extinction in the 1940s Today there are only about 500 birds in existence 350 of them in the wild Aside from the 77 Wisconsin

    Original URL path: http://www.bringbackthecranes.org/newsroom/2009/nr8October2009.html (2016-05-02)
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  • WCEP: Statement on Nesting Studies
    nests failed earlier this spring and five pairs renested Of those five pairs two pairs each hatched a chick Unfortunately neither of the chicks survived to fledging The nest abandonment pattern this spring is similar to what has been observed in previous years The Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership WCEP investigated the cause of the abandonments through analysis of data collected throughout the nesting period on crane behavior temperature food availability and black fly abundance and distribution 2009 nesting studies did not provide data that indicated whether black flies were causing the cranes to abandon incubation before eggs hatched However observers did note in some cases that the abundance of black flies near crane nests appears to be much higher than would be expected from levels monitored elsewhere in the refuge during the same time period The results of these studies are still being analyzed but are unlikely to result in conclusive evidence of causes of nest failure after only one study season Scientific experiments have greater power to reveal the causes of observed results when the size of the sample is large Due to the small number of nesting pairs it is difficult to draw valid conclusions about cause and

    Original URL path: http://www.bringbackthecranes.org/newsroom/2009/statementOct2009.html (2016-05-02)
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  • WCEP: June 26, 2009 News Release
    Migration Inc and the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center will spend the summer strengthening the social cohesion of the 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 Training and husbandry of the whooping crane chicks went very smoothly this year thanks to all the help we received from Patuxent volunteers and from Operation Migration folks said John French research manager for the whooping crane program at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center Things look good for a large group of chicks for the ultralight migration in 2009 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 fifth year WCEP has used this Direct Autumn Release method 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 in addition to wintering at Chassahowitzka NWR half of the ultralight led cranes spent the winter at the St Marks NWR along Florida s Gulf Coast The decision to split the cohort 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 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 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 515 birds in existence approximately 360 of them in the wild Aside from

    Original URL path: http://www.bringbackthecranes.org/newsroom/2009/nr26June2009.html (2016-05-02)
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  • WCEP: June 21, 2009 News Release
    project and another sign of success for WCEP said Necedah NWR manager Larry Wargowsky It shows persistence pays off as once again the First Family hatched the chick by renesting after their first attempt was unsuccessful Both of the chicks that have hatched in the wild this year in Wisconsin are the result of renesting This spring 12 breeding pairs of whooping cranes built nests and laid eggs Eleven of the nests were located on the Necedah NWR with 12 02 and 19 04 s nest located on private land All 12 nests failed earlier this spring and five pairs renested the three other renests also failed This nest abandonment pattern is 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 temperature black fly abundance and distribution and food availability 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 in addition to wintering at Chassahowitzka NWR half of the ultralight led cranes spent the winter at the St Marks NWR along Florida s Gulf Coast The decision to split the cohort 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 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 fifth 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 graduated classes of whooping cranes spend the summer in central Wisconsin where they use areas on or

    Original URL path: http://www.bringbackthecranes.org/newsroom/2009/nr21June2009.html (2016-05-02)
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