Several surveys have documented the increasing population size and geographic distribution of Eastern Population greater sandhill cranes Grus canadensis tabida since the 1960s. Sport hunting of this population of sandhill cranes started in 2012 following the provisions of the Eastern Population Sandhill Crane Management Plan. However, there are currently no published estimates of Eastern Population sandhill crane survival rate that can be used to inform harvest management. As part of two studies of Eastern Population sandhill crane migration, we deployed solar-powered global positioning system platform transmitting terminals on Eastern Population sandhill cranes (n = 42) at key concentration areas from 2009 to 2012. We estimated an annual survival rate for Eastern Population sandhill cranes from data resulting from monitoring these cranes by using the known-fates model in the MARK program. Estimated annual survival rate for adult Eastern Population sandhill cranes was 0.950 (95% confidence interval = 0.885–0.979) during December 2009–August 2014. All fatalities (n = 5) occurred after spring migration in late spring and early summer. We were unable to determine cause of death for crane fatalities in our study. Our survival rate estimate will be useful when combined with other population parameters such as the population index derived from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service fall survey, harvest, and recruitment rates to assess the effects of harvest on population size and trend and evaluate the effectiveness of management strategies.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Annual survival rate estimate of satellite transmitter–marked eastern population greater sandhill cranes|
|Series title||Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management|
|Contributing office(s)||Coop Res Unit Leetown|