Sandhill Crane Migration Study Reaches Halfway Point (fwd)

Deborah Wisti-Peterson nyneve at
Mon Oct 30 05:28:18 PST 2000

hello tweets,

i ran across this early this morning abd thought you'd like to read
it ...


Deborah Wisti-Peterson, PhD Candidate nyneve at
Department of Zoology, University of Washington, Seattle, Wash, USA
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Life is better when you are reading a good book -- Author Tim Green

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2000 07:53:03 -0500
Subject: Sandhill Crane Migration Study Reaches Halfway Point
October 26, 2000 Contact: Chuck Underwood Cell:904/910-6254
Tom MacKenzie 404/679-7291

Sandhill Crane Migration Study Reaches Halfway Point

The flock of sandhill cranes being led by ultralight aircraft from
Wisconsin to Florida reached the midpoint of their journey today, having
traveled 624 miles since leaving Necedah National Wildlife Refuge on
October 3. After fifteen stopover points, the entourage of twelve cranes,
four aircraft, seven vehicles and twelve biologists, pilots and ground crew
flew further south into Fentress County, Tennessee.

"The weather has slowed us up a bit," said Chuck Underwood of the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service and the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership
(WCEP). "Morning fog delays our takeoff time and warmer air temperatures
tire the birds more quickly."

Except for a mechanical problem early on, weather has been the only
limiting factor in the group's progress toward reaching Chassahowitzka
National Wildlife Refuge in Crystal River, Florida. Originally expected
to take 32 days, the trip is now estimated to take approximately two more

"We had excellent flying weather from Wisconsin all the way through
central Indiana," said Bill Lishman of Operation Migration, Inc. another
member of WCEP. "Despite delays these last few days, the trip is going
very well. And we could have blue skies and a nice tailwind tomorrow!"

If the migration study is successful and the sandhill cranes complete
the journey to Florida and return on their own to Wisconsin in the spring
of 2001, the same training procedure and route could be used with whooping
crane chicks as part of the second phase of the study. If all goes as
planned and necessary approvals are obtained from the Flyway Councils,
States and other involved agencies, the study may eventually lead to the
re-establishment of a migratory population of whooping cranes in the
eastern United States. Whooping cranes are endangered and currently found
in the wild only in the western United States and central Florida.
Captive-reared whooping crane chicks from the International Crane
Foundation and U.S. Geological Survey's Patuxent Wildlife Research Center,
also part of WCEP, were used to start non-migratory flock in Florida.

WCEP, also including the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources,
International Whooping Crane Recovery Team, Natural Resources Foundation of
Wisconsin and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, was formed in
October 1999 to coordinate the ultralight migration study and address
issues regarding recovery of the whooping crane. For more information on
the project, its partners and regular migration updates, visit the WCEP
website at

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