Speakers: Hillary Thompson and Andy Gossens
Wisconsin is one of the few places in North America that is home to both breeding sandhill and whooping crane populations. Sandhill cranes, which were nearly extirpated from the state in the early 1900s are now considered a conservation success story after the population rebounded throughout the past century with help from hunting regulations and wetland protections. Alternatively, endangered Whooping Cranes still remain relatively rare, although are starting to rebound. In an effort to reintroduce migratory population of whooping cranes into the Midwest, released of captive reared individuals began in 2001. Over the past twenty years this population has slowly increased and expanded across the state. In this presentation we will discuss the current status of these populations, what we have learned through studies involving these similar, yet ecologically distinct species, and how we can work to ensure success for whooping and sandhill cranes into the future.