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Fourteen greater sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis tabida) were trained to follow a specially-equipped truck and 12 were led along a ca 620-km route from Camp Navajo in northern Arizona to the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge near the Arizona/Mexico border. Ten survived the trek, 380 km of which were flown, although only a few cranes flew every stage of the route. Major problems during the migration were powerline collisions (ca 15, 2 fatal) and overheating (when air temperatures exceeded ca 25 C). The tenacity of the cranes in following both in 1995 and 1996 under unfavorable conditions (e.g., poor light, extreme dust, or heat) demonstrated that cranes could be led over long distances by motorized vehicles on the ground.
Additional Publication Details
Results of the second (1996) experiment to lead cranes on migration behind a motorized ground vehicle