Whooping Crane Eastern Population Update – October 2022

Whooping Crane juvenile Whirligig, now 90-22, gets to know adults 3-17 and 67-15 at White River Marsh in eastern Wisconsin.

Below is the most recent update for the Eastern Migratory Population of Whooping Cranes. In the last month, we have released a few captive-reared Whooping Cranes. 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.

Population Estimate 

The current estimated population size is 77 (39 F, 35 M, 3 U). Eighteen of these 77 individuals are wild-hatched and the rest are captive-reared. To the best of our knowledge, as of 1 October, there are around 66 Whooping Cranes in Wisconsin, two in Michigan and at least one in Indiana. 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.  

Map of Whooping Crane locations as of October 3, 2022
Click here to view our interactive “Where are the Whoopers” map for more details, including bios on each of the cranes.

2022 Cohort

W1-22 (U) is still with parents 12-11 and 5-11 in Juneau County.

W4-22 (U) is still with parents 1-17 and W1-19 in Portage County.

81-21 (F) was released in September at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge in Juneau County, WI. Unfortunately, 81-21 was found dead two weeks later (see below).

82-21 (F) was released in September at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge in Juneau County, WI. 82-21 is by herself, still in Juneau County.

90-22 (F) was released during September at White River Marsh in Green Lake County, WI, near adults 67-15 and 3-17. She has been hanging out with a group of Whooping Cranes since her release.

2021 Cohort 

W2-21 (U) has been with other Whooping Cranes in Green Lake County.

W11-21 (M) is still in Juneau County, WI.

W14-21 (M) is in Juneau County, WI, and was with 84-21 (F). He may have migrated with her, but we have not yet confirmed.

84-21 (F) left Juneau County, WI and migrated to Gibson County, IN.

85-21 (M) is still in Green Lake County, WI, with other Whooping Cranes.

2020 Cohort 

W3-20 (F) was last reported in Adams County, WI during August.

W13-20 (M) is still in Dodge County, WI, sometimes with other Whooping Cranes.

W18-20 (F) was last seen in Jackson County, WI in June.

Mortality and Long-term Missing

82-21 (F) was found dead in September at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge, about two weeks after she was released there. The cause of death is likely predation.

Story submitted by Hillary Thompson, North America Program Crane Analyst. Click here to learn more about our work in North America.