USGS Patuxent Crane Breeding Season -- 2006

2006 Crane Chick Photo Gallery:

The first WCEP chick of the year, this youngster came from the International Crane Foundation. He's 3 days old. Photo by USGS, Kathleen O'Malley.
WCEP 01 at 3 days
This is WCEP 02, one of the chicks from Necedah, at 1 day of age. He has a crooked toe, but the tape on it will straighten it out. Photo by USGS, Kathleen O'Malley.
WCEP 02 from Necedah
This little guy, WCEP 04, is from the Calgary Zoo. He's only 6 hours old, so young, his down hasn't even dried yet. His legs are still swollen and puffy from being in the egg. That edema will gradually, over the next 2 days, be absorbed by his body. Photo by USGS, Kathleen O'Malley.
WCEP 04 just 6 hrs old

So far, the 2006 breeding season has been a wonderful success -- again, thanks to a little help from our friends. Because of the snowstorm in February and the repair work, breeding season was delayed. Our first egg was laid on May 10, and a collective sigh of relief was heard all over the country. Since production was late and because we anticipated it to be less than in previous years, there was concern that we would not be able to produce the number of chicks for the WCEP ultralight project that we had hoped to produce. After consulting with our numerous partners, the team decided that other whooping crane breeding facilities could supplement our production to enable us to achieve the best number of chicks for the project. We have received whooper eggs from ... MORE

USGS Patuxent Crane Program Recovers from the Storm

Pen Repair Photo Gallery:

Patuxent staff repairing cables, Photo by USGS volunteer, Working in the whooper's prime breeding complex, the Blue Series, USGS Patuxent Facility's Staff, (from left) Eric Lewis and Tom Collins stand on ladders repairing broken netting support cables while Robert Leffel, a FWS manager from another refuge (in uniform), prepares to assist, while discussing the repair job with USGS Patuxent Facility's Manager, Scott DeClemente who is holding the excess cable. Photo by USGS volunteer, Charles Robinson.
Repairing the cables
In the Silver Series, Crane Aviculturist Jonathan Male (from the right) directs a crew to stretch a net across a pen. In front of Jonathan is PWRC Center Director Judd Howell, followed by Facility staffer Eric Lewis, then Crane technicians Charlie Shaffer and Dan Sprague who are getting ready to hand the net to visiting FWS refuge manager Robert Leffel. Photo by USGS volunteer, Charles Robinson.
Stretching the nets
The center support pole has a cable running through it at the top that is part of the netting support structure. The pole is raised, then slid into a sleeve cemented into the ground that holds it securely at the bottom. In this way, it's secured at top and bottom as it supports the net. Photo by USGS, Glenn Olsen.
Raising the nets

This picture story is just a sampling of the extensive work that was done by so many people to help the PWRC whooping crane program recover from the disasterous February snowstorm that damaged 105 of our 115 netted pens. Without the contributions of time, effort, and real physical labor from so many, the whooper breeding season would have been lost, not merely delayed. Everyone in the crane program wishes to express our most profound gratitude to all the folks who answered our call for assistance... MORE

Whoopers in the News* (updated 01/30/2008):

The Hindu, India's National Newspaper -- Making a comeback on July 7, 2006
CBC News, Calgary, Alb., Canada -- Bumper crop of whooping crane twins on July 4, 2006
The Bismarck Tribune, Bismarck, ND -- Whooping cranes have record hatch on July 3, 2006
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ont. Canada -- Two whooping cranes hatch in wild on June 28, 2006
St. Paul Pioneer Press, St. Paul, MN -- 2 whooping crane chicks create a stir on June 27, 2006
Tomah Journal, Tomah, WI -- Whooping crane chick hatches at Necedah Refuge on June 26, 2006
ABC News-US -- Whooping Cranes Hatch Two Chicks in Wis. on June 26, 2006
M&C Science and Nature, Glasgow, Scotland -- Baby whooping cranes hatched in Wisconsin on June 25, 2006
The Capital Times, Madison, WI -- Whooping crane chicks a milestone on June 24, 2006
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Milwaukee, WI -- Whoop for joy! Biologists say signs point to Necedah refuge's cranes producing a chick on June 22, 2006
Journal Star, Lincoln, NE -- 'Biological opinion' issued for plan to manage Platte River on June 20, 2006
Denver Post, Denver, CO -- Fish and Wildlife OKs plan to help Platte River species on June 20, 2006
Detroit Free Press, Detroit, MI -- Crane isn't lost; it likes Michigan on June 17, 2006
St. Petersburg Times, St. Petersburg, FL -- For trainers, large flock delights on June 12, 2006
Rock River Times, Rockford, IL -- Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership celebrates new additions on June 7, 2006
Lansing State Journal, Lansing, MI -- Endangered bird home after stop in Grand Ledge on June 5, 2006
Calgary Sun, Canada -- Zoo's project whoops it up! on June 3, 2006
Calgary Sun, Canada -- Program making whoopee at Calgary Zoo on June 2, 2006, Stanley, KS -- International Crane Foundation Foils Predators ... on June 1, 2006


*Note: these articles may only be posted for a limited time.


Online Publications:

Proceedings of the Eighth North American Crane Workshop
Cranes: Their Biology, Husbandry and Conservation
Importance of Genetic Diversity in Whooping Cranes (Adobe PDF File)

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