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home : outdoors : outdoors April 29, 2016

3/25/2014 3:07:00 PM
In search of Vilas County crane counters
Volunteers are needed for the 39th annual Midwest Crane Count. A sandhill crane is pictured.Dean Hall photograph

Volunteers are needed for the 39th annual Midwest Crane Count. A sandhill crane is pictured.

Dean Hall photograph

On Saturday, April 12, from 5:30 to 7:30 a.m., the International Crane Foundation (ICF) will sponsor the 39th annual Midwest Crane Count, one of the largest citizen-based wildlife surveys in the world.

You are invited to join more than 2,000 volunteer participants spread over 100 counties in six states (Wisconsin and portions of Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, and Indiana). 

ICF sponsors the Annual Midwest Crane Count as a part of its efforts to preserve and study the world’s 15 species of cranes and the natural communities on which they depend.

Sandhill cranes once experienced severe population declines in the late 1800s to early 1900s in the upper Midwest, but have recovered successfully. Observations of the abundant sandhill cranes can lend insight into the endangered crane species of the world.

One local example is the flock of whooping cranes being released in central Wisconsin. There are now close to 100 whooping cranes in this reintroduced population, and crane counters may have a chance of sighting a whooping crane during the count.

The North Lakeland Discovery Center will be coordinating the crane count for Vilas County.

Those interested in volunteering for the crane count in Vilas County should contact Heather Lumpkin, North Lakeland Discovery Center research and monitoring coordinator, at heather@discoverycenter.net or call 715-543-2085.  

Registration for the Vilas County Crane Count is also available at www.DiscoveryCenter.net.

A brief training will be held Friday, April 11, 10-11 a.m. at the North Lakeland Discovery Center. Those interested in volunteering for the Vilas County crane count who are unable to attend the training should contact Heather Lumpkin to make alternative arrangements.

Those interested in volunteering in a different county can visit www.cranecount.org for the list of 2014 County Coordinators. 

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