Study

Winter release of migratory whooping cranes Grus americana appears successful in wetlands in Florida, USA

  • Published source details Urbanek R.P., Fondow L.E.A., Zimorski S.E., Wellington M.A. & Nipper M.A. (2010) Winter Release and Management of Reintroduced Migratory Whooping Cranes Grus Americana. Bird Conservation International, 20, 43-54

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Release captive-bred individuals into the wild to restore or augment wild populations of cranes

Action Link
Bird Conservation
  1. Release captive-bred individuals into the wild to restore or augment wild populations of cranes

    A replicated study of a whooping crane Grus americana reintroduction programme in 2001-5 in wetlands in Florida, USA (Urbanek et al. 2010), found that winter-releases of this migratory bird proved effective. Average first-year survival of 71 winter-released juvenile birds was 87%, and was higher in later years as techniques improved. Birds were reared by humans wearing costumes (to avoid imprinting on human carers, see ‘Use puppets to increase the survival or growth of hand-reared chicks’ for studies on this intervention) and guided to the release site by an ultralight aircraft. Once there they were kept in holding pens by costumed caretakers. When the habitat prevented this, the juveniles were vulnerable to bobcat Lynx rufus predation, but this problem was overcome by vegetation clearance. Winter releases of this type were advantageous because the intensive care reduced predation by bobcats, juveniles were kept away from harassment by adult birds and juveniles did not lose their fear of humans through contact with tame sandhill cranes G. canadensis. Once released, juveniles showed ordinary migratory and summer behaviour.

     

Output references

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, terrestrial mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read latest volume: Volume 17

Go to the CE Journal

Subscribe to our newsletter

Please add your details if you are interested in receiving updates from the Conservation Evidence team about new papers, synopses and opportunities.

Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape Programme Red List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Bern wood Supporting Conservation Leaders National Biodiversity Network Sustainability Dashboard Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx British trust for ornithology Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Butterfly Conservation People trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust