Whooping Crane Telemetry Project

Whooping Crane Telemetry Project
Photo by Donald L. Allen
Whooping Cranes are monitored with radio transmitters at Goose Pond Fish & Wildlife Area using telemetry equipment purchased with Collaborative Funds granted to Sassafras & Wabash Valley Audubon Society (IN).

In late 2009 Brad Feaster, Property Manager of Goose Pond Fish & Wildlife Area, mentioned to Lee Sterrenburg that the Property would be able to track visiting Whooping Cranes more efficiently if it had its own telemetry equipment.

The reintroduced Whooping Cranes, which had been visiting the property since at least 2004, carry radio transmitters. These transmitters can be monitored from as far away as 1 mile when the birds are on the ground and up to 10 - 12 miles when they are flying.

Goose Pond FWA had been borrowing telemetry equipment from the International Crane Foundation, but this equipment was not always available when the Cranes were in the area.  Lee suggested that Brad contact the local chapters of The National Audubon Society to see if they would be interested in applying for Collaborative Funding to purchase this telemetry equipment.

After being contacted by Brad, Don Allen of Sassafras Audubon Society and Phil Cox of Wabash Valley Audubon Society co-applied for and received the funding and purchased the telemetry equipment which was then presented to Brad Feaster.

This equipment can track Sandhill Cranes as well as Whooping Cranes.  By purchasing additional relatively inexpensive antennas the radio can track other wildlife if it carries a radio transmitter.

Data collected on Whooping Cranes is given to The International Crane Foundation.