Necedah National Wildlife Refuge will receive $210,000.00 from the
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Cooperative Recovery Initiative, a highly
competitive grant. This funding initiative is designed to support nearly 300
threatened and endangered species found in and around national wildlife
refuges. Only four grants were awarded this year. Necedah’s grant will support
three years of management activities to expand the limited understanding of multiple factors
that influence nesting whooping cranes. Field work under this grant will be
conducted from this spring in 2014 through 2016.
More specifically, this project will focus on when whooping cranes
choose to nest. Whooping cranes present an interesting challenge to biologists
because of these keys variables: whooping cranes have been introduced to an
area, have learned to forage, select habitat, and migrate, yet they are still
struggling in reproducing offspring.
There are a number of factors that play into why this could be
happening. By selecting one aspect of nesting, with as many other factors as
constant as possible, biologists will manipulate the timing of
nesting to increase the potential for wild whooping cranes hatching wild
chicks. “What intrigues us is that this technique will adjust cranes to the environment,
not adjust the environment to the cranes,” explained Refuge Manager Doug
Biologists have recorded evidence that late spring nests produce a
higher number of wild whooping crane chicks. The current project is aimed at shifting
when whooping cranes nest and will provide a better understanding of factors
influencing whooping crane nesting success. After three years the intent is
that the data collected will provide much needed information on the biological needs
of this flock of whooping cranes. It will provide answers to help evaluate the
financial costs of this reintroduction and will better inform future decisions
and strategies for the survival of the whooping crane.
Project updates will be shared annually through print media, at
the visitor center, as well as the refuge website and Facebook page. Biologists
and staff of Necedah National Wildlife Refuge invite the public to view these
magnificent birds, in the wild, from late March to early November each year.
View whooping cranes from the comfort of the visitor center, located two miles
north of Hwy 21, just four miles west of Necedah. Hike the visitor center
trails or drive along Goose and Sprague Pools to photograph these beautiful
For more information about Necedah National Wildlife Refuge, visit
us online: http://www.fws.gov/refuge/necedah/
For more information on the Midwest Region of the
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service visit http://midwest.fws.gov.
mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to
conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for
the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted
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stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and
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