Carterville FWCO and the Wild Crane Chase?
BY MATTHEW MANGAN, ECOLOGICAL SERVICES - MARION, ILLINOIS
So who do you call when you have a whooping crane that has gone astray and is on a remote island in the middle of a large river? Well, your local Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office (FWCO) of course! These personnel are not only good at squeezing fish, but they are also skilled boat drivers and great with logistics.
When I received a call that members of Operation Migration needed assistance to access Wabash Island in the middle of the Ohio River to capture a whooping crane, I immediately called Donovan Henry of Carterville FWCO. Donovan was eager to help, although we were both admittedly a little anxious, wondering how this was all going to unfold. Fortunately, we were able to access the site with ease and within a short time period, the Operation Migration members had captured the whooping crane (#4-14) and prepared the crane for transport.
coaxes the whooping crane
towards the transport crate.
Credit: Matt Mangan, USFWS
Shortly thereafter I realized this was less of a chase and more of a coordinated effort by skilled professionals that ended in a successfully completed mission. The whooping crane captured was number 4-14 and was hatched in 2014. The decision to intervene and relocate the crane was based on a set of guidelines developed by the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership. To learn more about the WCEP, Operation Migration and to read a detailed account of our efforts visit the following links:
watches over the captured whooping crane
just prior to transport. Credit: Matt Mangan,