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Post-Release Survival of Hand-Reared and Parent-Reared Mississippi Sandhill Cranes

David H. Ellis, George F. Gee, Scott G. Hereford, Glenn H. Olsen, T. David Chisolm, Jane M. Nicolich, Kathleen A. Sullivan, Nancy J. Thomas, Meenakshi Nagendran and Jeff S. Hatfield
The Condor
Vol. 102, No. 1 (Feb., 2000), pp. 104-112
DOI: 10.2307/1370411
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1370411
Page Count: 9
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Post-Release Survival of Hand-Reared and Parent-Reared Mississippi Sandhill Cranes
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Abstract

The Mississippi Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis pulla) reintroduction program is the largest crane reintroduction effort in the world. Here we report on a 4-year experiment in which we compared post-release survival rates of 56 hand-reared and 76 parent-reared Mississippi Sandhill Cranes. First-year survival was 80%. Surprisingly, hand-reared cranes survived better than parent-reared birds, and the highest survival rates were for hand-reared juveniles released in mixed cohorts with parent-reared birds. Mixing improved survival most for parent-reared birds released with hand-reared birds. These results demonstrate that hand-rearing can produce birds which survive at least as well as parent-reared birds and that improved survival results from mixing hand-reared and parent-reared birds.

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