Notice of permit

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Regional or Local Number: WB-2012-12195

Notice is hereby given that pursuant to the provisions of section 74 of the Species at Risk Act permit no. WB-2012-12195 is issued.

Scientific research for the conservation of the species

One of several recovery strategies outlined in the WCRP calls for the protection and enhancement of the breeding, migration, and wintering habitat for the Aransas-Wood Buffalo population. 2012 is the last of a 3 year project banding juvenile whooping cranes and attaching satellite GPS transmitters and colour leg bands to determine causes of mortality, particularly on migration. Complete health checks will be conducted on the captured juveniles to gather baseline data on the health and genetics of this population as well. Up to 10 cranes per year will be captured on the breeding grounds in Canada to attach GPS Platform Transmitter Terminals (PTTs), a federal leg band, and a unique combination of coloured leg bands. In addition, we will attempt to capture 10 cranes per year on the wintering grounds in Texas to attach GPS PTTs. Therefore, we are planning to capture a total of 20 cranes per year (10 in Canada and 10 in Texas) for GPS PTT attachments. Additional cranes may be captured if time and conditions allow. Additional cranes captured and not designated to receive GPS PTTs will be outfitted with a federal aluminum leg band and a unique combination of coloured leg bands.

Start Date: 2012-07-24   End Date: 2012-08-23

Issuing Authority: Parks Canada Agency

Authority Used:

  • Species at Risk Act
  • Canada National Parks Act

Location of Activity (province, territory or ocean):

  • Alberta
  • Northwest Territories

Affected Species:

a)All reasonable alternatives to the activity that would reduce the impact on the species have been considered and the best solution has been adopted: The objectives outlined for this banding program can only be reached with banded birds because of the nature of Whooping Cranes, the nature of their summer and wintering territories and the vast distances and areas covered on migration. Whooping Cranes suffer the highest mortality during migration, as determined by counts in the breeding and wintering areas, however, the exact causes or locations are not known nor documented. Understanding migration ecology and threats to Whooping Cranes during migration has been considered a priority of the Whooping Crane Recovery Team for several years (T. Stehn and B. Johns, pers. comm.). The WCRP in Task 1.3 specifically calls for the use of telemetry technology to identify areas of high crane use and potential problems with power lines (CWS and USFWS 2007). These objectives can only be achieved by banding and/or attaching GPS transmitters to birds. b)All feasible measures will be taken to minimize the impact of the activity on the species or its critical habitat or the residences of its individuals: Hatch year birds will be trapped before fledgling age with the use of a helicopter. From 1977-1988, CWS successfully banded 134 juveniles in Wood Buffalo National Park, and the same techniques will be used for this project. The capture crew will consist of 3 personnel; a veterinarian, handler, and bander. The crane will be cornered and either hand-grabbed or a long-handled net will be placed over the bird to subdue it. The handler will control the crane while the veterinarian and bander collect samples, take measurements, and attach leg bands. All capture and handling activities will follow the guidelines set forth in “Guidelines for Field Capture and Safe Handling of Whooping Cranes to Avoid Capture-Related Stress and Injury”. Banding operations will stop if an injury or mortality occurs until it is felt the problem is properly addressed and will only resume if it is felt changes have been made to avoid further problems. CWS will always document the influence our activity has on the behaviour of the birds and adjust activities accordingly to reduce or negate the impact. c)The activity will not jeopardize the survival or recovery of the species: Banding cranes is not expected to negatively impact the survival or recovery of the species. From 1977-1988 134 juvenile whooping cranes were captured banded successfully in Wood Buffalo National Park, without adverse affects to the population, and the same techniques will be used in this project.

Contact Person(s)
Lucy Patterson
Parks Canada Agency
PO Box 38
Fort Chipewyan, AB
T0P 1B0
Tel: 780-697-3662
Fax: 780-697-3560

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