Below is the most recent update for the Eastern Migratory Population of Whooping Cranes. In the last month, nesting season has completed! A huge thank you to the staff of the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Departments of Natural Resources of flyway states, the International Crane Foundation, and all the volunteers who help us keep track of the cranes throughout the year. We appreciate your contribution to the recovery of the Whooping Crane Eastern Migratory Population. This report was produced by the International Crane Foundation.
The current estimated population size is 74 (38 F, 35 M, 1 U). Sixteen of these 74 individuals are wild-hatched and the rest are captive-reared. To the best of our knowledge, as of 1 July, there are at least 68 Whooping Cranes in Wisconsin and two in Michigan. The remaining birds’ locations have not been confirmed in the last month. Their last known locations (in the past month) are on the map below.
As of 1 July, nesting season has ended and there were a total of 24 first nests and 7 renests (31 nests total) this season.
Completed since 1 June: 1 renest in St. Croix County (abandoned), and 5 renests in Juneau County (1 incubated full term, 4 hatched)
2022 Wild-hatched Cohort
The chicks listed below in bold are currently alive, as far as we know. So far at least 14 chicks have hatched and up to 5 are still alive. These chicks are not yet included in the population totals above.
W1-22 (U) is still with parents 12-11 and 5-11 in Juneau County and is due to fledge during July.
W4-22 (U) is still with parents 1-17 and W1-19 in Portage County and is also due to fledge during July.
W10-22 (U) hatched to parents 10-15 and 4-13 in Green Lake County during late May but unfortunately disappeared by mid-June.
W11-22 (U) hatched to parents 9-05 and 13-03 at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge in Juneau County.
W12-22 (U) hatched to parents 13-02 and 24-08 at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge in Juneau County.
W13-22 (U) hatched mid-June to parents W1-06 and W10-15 at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge in Juneau County. Unfortunately, W13-22 only lived a few days.
W14-22 (U) hatched to parents 15-11 and 29-08 at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge in Juneau County.
W2-21 (U) is likely still in Green Lake County, WI, where they were last confirmed in May. There’s a Whooping Crane in a similar area that is hanging out with 85-21 (M) who we think could be W2-21, but we have not yet been able to confirm.
W11-21 (M) is still in Juneau County, WI.
W14-21 (M) is now in Juneau County, WI.
84-21 (F) is now in Juneau County, WI, and has been associating with 2-04 (M) who likely lost his mate this spring.
85-21 (M) is still in Green Lake County, WI, with another Whooping Crane.
W3-20 (F) was last reported in Wood Co, WI, during May.
W13-20 (M) is still by himself in Dodge County, WI.
W18-20 (F) was seen again with 80-19 (F) in Juneau County, WI during June.
Mortality and Long-term Missing
19-10 (M) and W19-19 (U) were last seen during July 2021 in Juneau County and are now considered long-term missing and are removed from the population total (above).
10-11 (M) was last seen during January 2022 on the wintering grounds. His mate was seen without him on the wintering grounds as well as on their breeding territory in Wisconsin. Even though he has not been missing for a full year, he has not been detected again in either place, is likely dead, and has been removed from the population total (above).
Story submitted by Hillary Thompson, North America Program Crane Analyst. Click here to learn more about our work in North America.