Feb
03
2007

Florida storm kills whooping cranes

All 18 yearling whooping cranes killed in recent Florida storm.

Storm kills 18 whooping cranes
Storm kills 18 whooping cranes
All 18 young whooping cranes that were led south from Wisconsin with an ultralight last fall were killed in a Florida storm. As of January, 2007, there were 82 surviving Whooping Cranes in the Eastern Migratory Population. Subtract 18 and there may have been additional losses to the whooping cranes in the wild.

Birds most likely drowned by storm surge

Current speculation is that a storm surge drowned the birds. The cranes were being kept in an enclosure at the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge near Crystal River, Fla.. Official flock status numbers at WhoopingCrane.com will eventually be updated to give the best count.

The other wild whooping crane flock in North America has about 237 birds and migrates from Canada to the Texas Gulf Coast. A non-migratory flock in Florida has about 53 birds. If captive birds are counted, the number of whooping cranes in the world is 500.

Buzz Blog posts about "Operation Migration":

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Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

alice parrott's picture
alice parrott says:

We in Tennessee are so sad to hear this news. The whoopers stop over near my house on their migration. Yesterday was the celebration of the whoopers and the sand- hill cranes on the Hiawassee River near Chattanooga Tennessee. We saw this flock of 18 young whoopers in November. I hope the ultra light migrations continues. People from all over the us and the world have been coming to see them each fall.

posted on Sun, 02/04/2007 - 12:42pm
ARTiFactor's picture
ARTiFactor says:

1 of 18 cranes survives

A whooping crane was spotted alive on Sunday after it was believed killed with 17 others in severe Florida storms, according to an organizer of a migratory project. Yahoo News

posted on Mon, 02/05/2007 - 10:03am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

How ironic. Man attempts to intervine to salvage nature, then nature itself kills the birds.

posted on Mon, 02/05/2007 - 2:15pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

The program was designed because of fear that with only one migration flyway to Texas, all the whoopers could be killed in a storm. It highlights the need for the program and its vital importance to the survival of the species.

posted on Tue, 02/06/2007 - 10:00am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I was so saddened to hear about the deaths of 17 cranes. I live in Homosassa and we have seen them several times on the return flights to Florida. What a real shame, especially for the cranes, but also for all the dedicated people working so diligently to restore the population of these wonderful birds. So sad.

posted on Tue, 02/06/2007 - 9:08am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

That is horrible they should be helped still be the goverment

posted on Wed, 12/12/2007 - 2:47pm
Sandhill cranes's picture

Sandhills are beautiful and certainly not ugly ducklings that warrant pity. Their numbers appear to be stable now...if not increasing. From Wikipdeia - Though the Sandhill Crane is not considered threatened as a species, the three southernmost subspecies are quite rare. While the migratory birds could at least choose secure breeding habitat, the resident populations could not, and many subpopulations were destroyed by hunting or habitat change. However, initially the Greater Sandhill crane proper suffered most from persecution; by 1940 probably fewer than 1,000 birds remained. They have since increased greatly again, though with nearly 100,000 individuals they are still less plentiful than the Lesser Sandhill Crane, which numbers over 400,000 individuals, making the species the most plentiful crane alive today.

posted on Thu, 02/04/2010 - 1:05am
Crusie's picture
Crusie says:

Cranes are among the oldest living birds on the planet. Fossil records place Sandhill Cranes in Nebraska more than nine million years ago, long before there was a Platte River, which, by comparison, is only a youthful 10,000 years of age.

posted on Mon, 03/29/2010 - 11:12pm
Arches National Park's picture

Yesterday was the celebration whoopers and Sand Hill cranes, Hiawassee River near Chattanooga, Tennessee. We saw this flock of 18 young whoopers in November. I hope that the ultralight migration will continue. People from all over and the world we have come to show them that counts.

posted on Fri, 06/18/2010 - 1:39am
Amelia's picture
Amelia says:

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posted on Sun, 06/20/2010 - 6:56am
Best Ski Resorts's picture

Though the Sandhill Crane is not considered threatened as a species, the three southernmost subspecies are quite rare. While the migratory birds could at least choose secure breeding habitat, the resident populations could not, and many subpopulations were destroyed by hunting or habitat change.

posted on Tue, 06/29/2010 - 12:39am

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