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Whooping Crane Grus americana

IUCN Red List Criteria

Critically Endangered  
Endangered
Vulnerable C1+2a(i,ii);D1 

IUCN Red List history

Year Category
2012 Endangered
2008 Endangered
2006 Endangered
2004 Endangered
2000 Endangered
1996 Endangered
1994 Endangered
1988 Threatened

Species attributes

Migratory status full migrant Forest dependency Does not normally occur in forest
Land mass type continent
Average mass -

Distribution

  Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 6,100 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 10,900 medium
Number of locations 2 -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 50-249 medium Estimated 2007
Population trend Increasing good -
Number of subpopulations 2 - - -
Largest subpopulation 51-250 - - -
Generation length (yrs) 13.1 - - -
Population justification: The total population in the wild numbers 382 individuals (T. Stehn in litt. 2007). However, the only self-sustaining population breeding in Northwest Territories/Alberta, Canada and wintering in Texas, USA numbers 266 individuals, fewer than 250 of which are mature. Hence we retain a precautionary estimate of 50-249 mature individuals. This equates to 75-374 individuals in total, rounded here to 70-400 individuals.
Trend justification: The natural flock has increased at 4.2% per year over the past 20 years, excluding the drop in 2009, slightly below the growth rate of 4.6% since 1938 (T. Stehn and J. Cannon in litt. 2007). This equates to a moderate increase over the last three generations.

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage Resident
Canada Native Extant Yes      
Mexico Native Extinct   Yes    
USA Native Extant   Yes    

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
Canada Buffer Lake site factsheet
Canada Last Mountain Lake National Wildlife Area site factsheet
Canada Luck Lake site factsheet
Canada Midnight Lake site factsheet
Canada Quill Lakes site factsheet
Canada Radisson Lake site factsheet
Canada Whooping Crane Nesting Area and Summer Range site factsheet
USA Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area and surrounding areas site factsheet
USA Rowe Sanctuary site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land suitable non-breeding
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Coastal Brackish/Saline Lagoons/Marine Lakes major non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha) major breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha) major breeding
Altitude 0 - 0 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact

Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Agriculture & aquaculture Annual & perennial non-timber crops / Agro-industry farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Past, Unlikely to Return Majority (50-90%) Rapid Declines Past Impact
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals / Intentional use (species is the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Decline Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Species mortality
Climate change & severe weather Droughts Timing Scope Severity Impact
Future Majority (50-90%) No decline Low Impact: 3
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation
Human intrusions & disturbance Recreational activities Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) No decline Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Species disturbance
Human intrusions & disturbance Work & other activities Timing Scope Severity Impact
Past, Unlikely to Return Majority (50-90%) Rapid Declines Past Impact
Stresses
Species disturbance, Reduced reproductive success
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Problematic native species/diseases Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) No decline Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Species mortality
Pollution Industrial & military effluents / Oil spills Timing Scope Severity Impact
Future Minority (<50%) Causing/Could cause fluct Low Impact: 3
Stresses
Species mortality
Transportation & service corridors Utility & service lines Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Decline Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Species mortality

Utilisation

Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Food (human) Whole Adults and juveniles Wild Subsistence, National Non-trivial Historical
Pets Whole Adults and juveniles Wild International Non-trivial Recent
Sport Whole Adults and juveniles Wild Subsistence, National Non-trivial Recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Grus americana. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 02/10/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 02/10/2014.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Endangered
Family Gruidae (Cranes)
Species name author (Linnaeus, 1758)
Population size 50-249 mature individuals
Population trend Increasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 6,100 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species