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Accession Number 5001831

Title Restoration ecology of a nonmigrating population of whooping cranes in Florida:

behavioral and habitat changes to increase survival

Project Description The successful production of captive-bred cranes is an essential part of the conservation and

reintroduction plans for the whooping crane and other endangered/threatened crane species. The

whooping crane recovery team has begun two projects. One experiment started in 1993 hopes to

establish a nonmigratory population of whooping cranes in Florida and the other started in 1999

hopes to establish a new migratory population. Productivity and access to the wild population in

the Wood Buffalo National Park are limited. Parks Canada ended egg collection from Wood

Buffalo National Park in 1996. Because of these and other reasons, captive produced stock is

necessary to provide for the reintroduction efforts. If properly chosen, Florida has ample marsh

habitat to support a viable nonmigratory population of whooping cranes. Captive-reared whooping

cranes require physiological and behavioral conditioning to survive release and to breed when

mature. This project helps define the challenges faced by the release. This produces a variety of

studies to improve survival without creating imprinting conditions that could interfere with breeding

(see æBehavioral management techniques to improve survival Acc. No: 500xxxx and ôWhooping

crane nocturnal roosting activity in Floridaö Acc No: To be assigned). These include studies of

captive behavior that predict postrelease survival.

Keywords bobcat, florida, grus americana, release conditioning, whooping crane,

Principal George F Gee, USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center: George_Gee@usgs.gov;

Investigators

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