Whooping crane use of habitat

Every spring and fall the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program (Program) implements systematic aerial flights and ground searches to document the presence of whooping cranes within the ( ) for the Program. This monitoring typically occurs from 6 March – 29 April in the spring and 9 October – 15 November in the fall; however, the monitoring seasons have been initiated early or extended when whooping cranes are known to be within the outside of these ranges of dates.

In spring 2019, located 8 unique whooping crane groups made up of just 9 individual cranes using the . Given the relatively small number when compared to the spring of 2018, we still had 76 crane use days. The low numbers were likely due to the very wet and cold spring we had. 

Between 9 October and 15 November, 2019, a total of 42 whooping cranes were detected by the Program's monitoring efforts. These birds accumulated a total of 120 whooping crane use days. 

Graph that shows the proportion of overall population observed using the Platte river by PRRIP.

Since 2001, the proportion of the whooping crane population observed within the has increased significantly during the spring and has remained fairly steady during the fall.

Map showing use of the Platte river.

During the spring and fall of 2019 monitoring seasons many of the whooping cranes observed during systematic surveys were located on Program or other conservation organization owned lands.