New summer areas and mixing of two greater sandhill crane populations in the Intermountain West

Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management
By: , and 

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Abstract

Population delineation throughout the annual life cycle for migratory birds is needed to formulate regional and national management and conservation strategies. Despite being well studied continentally, connectivity of sandhill crane Grus canadensis populations throughout the western portion of their North American range remains poorly described. Our objectives were to 1) use global positioning system satellite transmitter terminals to identify summer distributions for the Lower Colorado River Valley Population of greater sandhill cranes Grus canadensis tabida and 2) determine whether intermingling occurs among any of the western greater sandhill crane populations: Rocky Mountain Population, Lower Colorado River Valley Population, and Central Valley Population. Capture and marking occurred during winter and summer on private lands in California and Idaho as well as on two National Wildlife Refuges: Cibola and Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuges. A majority of marked greater sandhill cranes summered in what is established Lower Colorado River Valley Population breeding areas in northeastern Nevada and southwestern Idaho. A handful of greater sandhill cranes summered outside of traditional breeding areas in west-central Idaho around Cascade Reservoir near Donnelly and Cascade, Idaho. For example, a greater sandhill crane colt captured near Donnelly in July 2014 survived to winter migration and moved south to areas associated with the Rocky Mountain Population. The integration of the greater sandhill crane colt captured near Donnelly provides the first evidence of potential intermingling between the Lower Colorado River Population and Rocky Mountain Population. We suggest continued marking and banding efforts of all three western populations of greater sandhill cranes will accurately delineate population boundaries and connectivity and inform management decisions for the three populations.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title New summer areas and mixing of two greater sandhill crane populations in the Intermountain West
Series title Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management
DOI 10.3996/042015-JFWM-036
Volume 7
Issue 1
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher Scientific Journals
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Seattle
Description 12 p.
First page 141
Last page 152
Country United States
State Arizona, California, Idaho