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Accession Number 5001863

Title Modeling and management of sandhill crane populations

Project Description There are six subspecies of sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis) endemic to North America. The

greater sandhill crane (G. c. tabida) can be divided into several breeding populations. Two of these

populations, the Rocky Mountain Population, and the Midcontinent Population are currently

hunted. A third population, the Eastern Population, is currently not hunted, but the Mississippi

Flyway is considering the possibility of opening a season. Proper management of these birds

requires reasonable knowledge of their population dynamics and response to hunting. For the

Rocky Mountain Population, much is known about their recruitment and some is known about

their abundance and harvest levels, but little is known about their survival. One aspect of this

project will be to computerize and analyze 20 years of mark/resight and recovery data for these

cranes, for survival, movements, and their relationship to pertinent climatic and habitat variables. A

second aspect of this project will be to develop a model of the population dynamics of the Rocky

Mountain Population, to predict the impact of changes in harvest levels. A final aspect of this

project will be to analyze mark/resighting data for the Eastern Population of greaters and the

Florida sandhill crane, a threatened subspecies, which occur together on their wintering range.

This information could be used in the management of the Florida sandhill, and in helping the

evaluate the potential impacts of opening a hunting season on Eastern greaters.

Keywords adaptive management, markresight, movement, population dynamics, sandhill cranes, survival,

Principal William L Kendall, USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center: William_Kendall@usgs.gov;

Investigators Roderick Drewien, University of Idaho: ; Stephen Nesbitt, Florida Game and Freshwater Fish

Commission: ;

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