RESULTS OF THE SECOND (1996) EXPERIMENT TO LEAD CRANES ON MIGRATION
BEHIND A MOTORIZED GROUND VEHICLE
DAVID H. ELLIS, USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, 11410 American Holly Drive, Laurel, MD 20708-4019, USA
BRIAN CLAUSS, USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, 12302 Beech Forest Road, Laurel, MD 20708-4022, USA
TSUYOSHI WATANABE, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, Texas A&M University, 210 Nagle Hall, 2258 TAMUS, College Station, TX 77843-2258, USA
R. CURT MYKUT, Patuxent wildlife Research Center, 11410 American Holly Drive, Laurel, MD 20708- 4019, USA
DANIEL P. MUMMERT, School of Forestry, Northern Arizona University, 403 South Leroux, Flagstaff, AZ 86001, USA
DANIEL T. SPRAGUE, USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, 11410 American Holly Drive, Laurel, MD 20708-4019, USA
CATHERINE H. ELLIS, Institute for Raptor Studies, HC 1 Box 4420, Oracle, AZ 85623 USA
F. BENJAMIN TRAHAN, City of Tucson, Information Technology, 481 West Paseo Redondo, Tucson, AZ 85701 USA
Fourteen greater sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis tabida) were trained to follow a specially-equipped truck and 12 were led along a ca 620-km route from Camp Navajo in northern Arizona to the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge near the Arizona/Mexico border. Ten survived the trek, 380 km of which were flown, although only a few cranes flew every stage of the route. Major problems during the migration were powerline collisions (ca 15, 2 fatal) and overheating (when air temperatures exceeded ca 25 C). The tenacity of the cranes in following both in 1995 and 1996 under unfavorable conditions (e.g., poor light, extreme dust, or heat) demonstrated that cranes could be led over long distances by motorized vehicles on the ground.
PROCEEDINGS NORTH AMERICAN CRANE WORKSHOP 8:122-126
Key words: Grus canadensis, migration, reintroduction techniques, sandhill crane.
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