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Accession Number 5005288

Title Adaptive management of releases to the Florida non-migratory Whooping Crane

population: Integrating population viability analysis with adaptive management

Project Description The whooping crane (Grus americana) is one of the rarest birds in North America, currently with

about 176 birds in the migratory Aransas/Wood Buffalo population, 97 birds in the recently

established non-migratory Florida population, and plans to establish another migratory population

between Wisconsin and Florida. Because the new populations are created by releasing

captive-reared birds, and because captive-reared birds are always in short supply, the strategic

allocation of birds intended for release is a necessity. In this study, we propose to analyze survival

data from 10 years of releases in Florida, build models and estimate parameters necessary for

population viability analysis (PVA), and couple this PVA with adaptive resource management

(ARM). The goal of the ARM effort will be to characterize the strategic allocation of captive-reared

birds to the non-migratory Florida population, using a decision-theoretic framework, while

accounting for the considerable uncertainty we have about the long-range dynamics of this

population and its environment. The final product of this project will be a set of tools the Whooping

Crane Recovery Team, and its constituent members, can use to assist in making decisions

about releases to the Florida population.

Keywords adaptive management, decision theory, endangered species, grus americana, population viability

analysis, releases, survival analysis, uncertainty, whooping crane,

Principal Jeffrey S Hatfield, USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center: jeff_hatfield@usgs.gov; Michael C

Investigators Runge, USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center: michael_runge@usgs.gov;

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