Winter Sandhill Crane Atlas
The following strikes me as a great opportunity
for birders to help secure the future of Sandhill
Cranes in and around Pixley National Wildlife
Refuge (or anywhere in California where they
winter). The Winter Sandhill Crane Atlas project
may be contributed to/helped based on submissions
ranging from one time observations to those made
on many days through winter through to departure
of the last cranes or breeding grounds to the north (usually by mid-March).
Bob Barnes, Ridgecrest
Citizen Science Project: Winter Sandhill Crane Atlas
This winter, International Crane Foundations Research Associate, Gary Ivey
has partnered with The Nature Conservancy and Audubon California on a
project to identify private lands that are important to foraging cranes.
Our primary product will be a GIS layer/map of crane foraging areas,
showing the most important areas for conservation efforts where we can
encourage land owners to utilize crane-friendly crop management.
We are looking for volunteers to assist with this project in each of the
wintering regions in the Central Valley. Volunteers can contribute survey
data from just one field visit or as many days through the winter as they
would like. Weekly surveys of the same areas are desirable. The project
will continue until the cranes migrate in mid-March.
The primary and most important data to collect are sandhill crane flock
sizes with date, time and mapped location of observations. We will accept
single observations if you only see one flock of cranes this winter.
Crane wintering regions include:
1. Sacramento Valley, north of Marysville, Williams and south of Chico
(and near Maxwell)
2. The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta region, including Stone Lakes and
Cosumnes floodplain; between Sacramento, Elk Grove, Lodi, Stockton, Rio
Vista and Antioch
3. The region around San Joaquin River NWR
4. The Merced Grasslands Region
5. The region around Pixley NWR
1. Timing: the best time to conduct surveys are during mornings
between ½ hour after sunrise and 11 AM or late afternoon, between 3 PM and
dark; however, please record cranes any time you see them.
2. Locations: Areas visible from public roads, or where private
landowners grant permission for access within 7 miles of roost sites. Gary
Ivey can provide a map.
3. Counting: Count sizes of foraging flocks and map them on a good
map. Include GPS coordinates, if possible. Google Earth or Google Maps are
useful tools, if you have them.
4. Record the date, time, flock size, habitat (crop) type (if
possible), location (plot on map and provide coordinates, if possible).
Record the number of each subspecies, if you can distinguish them.
5. Print maps of your search area from Google Earth or Google Maps
(satellite version), if you can. Otherwise use a large scale maps showing
roads in the area or use a GPS and report locations as 100 yards SW, etc.
Plot observations on maps (with a reference number to your count) or
provide the lat-long coordinates in digital degrees on your data form.
6. You may use the excel spreadsheet to enter data or print out the
word version of a data form and write in the information along with flock
observation points shown on a paper map.
7. You can mail the data (Gary Ivey, 1350 SE Minam Ave, Bend OR 97702)
or submit it via email if you can (preferred) to ivey@...
8. If you have questions, you can reach Gary by email or my cell:
West Coast Crane Working Group
International Crane Foundation
Visit our website! www.savingcranes.org
"Working worldwide to conserve cranes and the wetland, grassland, and other
ecosystems upon which they depend"
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