Crane and colt

Grays lake's uniqueness as prime crane habitat made the refuge a choice site the Service to try to boost the population of endangered whooping cranes. Whooper eggs were placed in sandhill crane nests; the sandhill foster parents hatched, raised, and guided a generation of young whoopers on their migration south. Ultimately the whoopers did not breed on the refuge, and the Service discontinued the experiment.

For up to date information on research projects currently underway at Grays contact the refuge manager. 


Wetland Monitoring to Inform State-and-Transition Model

Intensive monitoring of vegetation, water quality and soils has taken place since the summer of 2014 to gather data on the current state of certain wetland units on the refuge.  Monitoring with an identical protocol has taken place during this same time frame on 49 wetland units within 12 National Wildlife Refuges across Regions 1, 6 and 8 in the intermountain west and western prairie pothole region.  This monitoring and continued monitoring will help design a tool to determine effects of potential management actions.  Learn more about the project here.